Agriculture, Event, Washington County

Bee school offered by county group

Bees are becoming more active as temperatures begin warming to 50 degrees and above, and the Tualatin Valley Beekeepers Association is inviting the public to attend its annual Bee School short course.

Late February is the beginning of active bee season in western Washington County and the Tualatin Valley, and this is the perfect time of year for people curious about honeybees and other pollinators to get engaged in beekeeping and observation.

Bees look for flower nectar to consume carbohydrates and for pollen to use as protein to raise baby bees.

Swarm season runs from March through May in the region. “Bivouac balls,” which are a group of bees temporarily massed together while resting on a surface, may be seen in some locations, as well as swarms of thousands of honey bees on the move. The phenomenon occurs when they run out of room in their colony and half of the bees take flight to find a new home.

A Tualatin Valley Beekeepers Association press release says swarming bees are not aggressive – something to keep in mind if anyone stumbles upon one – and if one is witnessed, the organization wants the public to enter the information into its swarm reporting tool, which can be found at tvbabees.org/Report-a-Swarm-Widget. Once entered, a beekeeper will head to the location to rescue the bees and move them to a new home.

People who have a lot of flowers growing on their land who are interested in hosting a beehive or two also can check out the TVA website to post their interest.

The Bee School short course will take place online in three virtual classes from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on March 7, 8, and 14. The cost is $25 plus a special $20 membership in the association. In addition to the online classes, TVBA plans to offer a small, hands-on, and in-person class, “Field Days,” during the afternoons of March 19 and April 23.

TVBA membership includes monthly info-packed email newsletters, educational meetings on the last Tuesday of every month, and access to community tools and knowledge.

For more information visit the association’s website (tvbabees.org), send an email to [email protected], and follow the association on Facebook at facebook.com/TualatinValleyBeekeepers.

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