Bees, Please

Tumalo Bee Academy

Hug a Bee

You may not love bees. You aren’t alone. The potential for a sting and the incessant buzzing-all-about are sure detriments to any relationship that otherwise might bloom.

Yet honey bees are essential for the production of most of the food you eat. According to Cornell University, 70 percent of the world’s crops are most effectively pollinated by bees.

Unfortunately, these essential members of our crop growth chain are facing precipitously low numbers as they die off—both from parasites that have grown resistant to chemical eradication processes, and from direct exposure to pesticides and herbicides.

Bee Part of the Solution

Central Oregon residents can help save the bees. Stephen Harris, instructor at Tumalo Bee Academy, a project of Tumalo Garden Market, has been a beekeeper for nearly 50 years and enjoys teaching others to care for bees. The Bee Academy program can be by drop-in, or with the commitment to purchasing a hive and the gear needed to tend it.

Live in a condo with no yard? Place pots of lavender, salvia, and bee balm in a corner of your patio, balcony or deck. Have a small yard?  Instead of planting grass or xeriscaping, plant perennial flowers seeds that attract bees–like Coast Seed Bee Pollinator Mix.

And, for those living on a lot 5,000 square feet or larger, the amount required for zoning approval to maintain a beehive, consider becoming a beekeeper. However, the most effective help is truly the easiest: Simply stop using pesticides and herbicides.

“The backyard beekeeper may be the one that saves the honeybee in the end,” says Harris. And the Tumalo Bee Academy will “bee” standing by, ready to work with you to help save the world.