To bee or not to bee: Class will help
I'm not a big fan of bees. Honeybees, bumblebees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets. I'm not beephobic, just beewary. Put me in a room with...
I'm not a big fan of bees.
Honeybees, bumblebees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets.I'm not beephobic, just beewary.
Put me in a room with a bee, and I need to send the bee outside.
Put me in a yard or field, barefoot, surrounded by dozens of bees enjoying clover blossoms, and I need to get outta there fast.
These are not happy days for bees, though, nor for the $15 billion worth of crops they pollinate every year. Billions of honeybees have died across the country; entire hives have been wiped out. The culprit is believed to be a virus in combination with other things, and so far there isn't a cure.
By now, you're probably all abuzz about what you can do to save the bees.
Actually, you can help.
Washington State University's Snohomish County Extension office at McCollum Park will hold a workshop next Wednesday evening on how to get started as a beekeeper.
One of the instructors, Dave Pehling, has been studying bees and bugs for the extension office since 1978. The other instructor, Mark Johns, has been a beekeeper for seven years and now has so much sweet stuff he markets it.
Pehling says that in Snohomish County, almost all honeybees are kept in hives by beekeepers, some of whom have dozens of hives. He hasn't heard of the county's bee population being greatly affected by what's happening nationally but says that even here hives die out for various reasons and the population needs to be replenished.
At the workshop, prospective beeautiful people will learn about the necessary equipment, the "livestock," managing the honey flow and more.
If you'd like to learn how to be a beekeeper, the workshop is 6:30-9:30 p.m. next Wednesday at the extension office, 600 128th St. S.E., Everett. That's in McCollum Park, a little east of Interstate 5 off the 128th St. exit. The cost is $35, $25 for master gardeners, and you have to preregister by calling 425-338-2400 or going to snohomish.wsu.edu/ag/workshops/registrationform.pdf, filling out the form and mailing it in with a check.
Bottom line is you could wind up with a little honey for yourself and the knowledge you're helping keep the county's crops well pollinated, not to mention you'd have a good reason to buy one of those fashionable beekeeper's hats with the netting.
Scott Barry: 425-745-7816 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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