Orchard Outing

Run for the bees

Do It

What: "Run for the Bees"

When: 11 am Sun., Apr. 29

Where: BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian

Cost: $12-$24 per person, $40 per family

Info: http://www.bellewoodfarms.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Most people run from bees, not in support of them.

The latter scenario will be in full effect at BelleWood Acres’ third annual “Run for the Bees 5K” happening Sun., April 29 near and among the 32 acres of blooming fruit tree orchards near Lynden.

With apples at the front of a long list of plants pollinated by honeybees, it’s of particular importance to the powers that be at BelleWood to keep the flying insect on the radar. In just the past 10 years, more than 40 percent of bee colonies in the United States have suffered Colony Collapse Disorder, and one of the major culprits in the die-off is thought to be the increased use of pesticides.

At BelleWood Acres, maintaining a healthy ecosystem for the 21 varieties of apples and two strains of pear trees owners John and Dorie Belisle grow is of utmost importance. To that end, they partner with groups such as Sustainable Connections, Whatcom Farm Friends, and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association to make sure they’re farming responsibly.

Sunday’s family-friendly event is a way to share what they’ve found out about bees over the years with the public. In addition to running through the verdant orchards, attendees can also learn more about bees and how certain fruits and vegetables can’t survive without them, experience a working farm, find out how to grow bee-friendly gardens, and help support Washington State University’s bee research with their registration fees. Live music, snacks and drinks will be part of the fun, and the festivities will continue until mid-afternoon.

If you’re interested in learning more about the winged wonders, representatives from WSU will surely be eager to talk about their diagnostic lab, breeding program, research lab and upcoming workshops.

Locally, the Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association (http://www.mtbakerkeepers.org), Marie’s Bees (http://www.mariesbees.com), and the Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association (http://www.skagitvalleybeekeepers.org) can provide additional resources to those wanting to find out more about raising—or even fostering—swarms of honeybees.

If you’re tempted to run away from this outing, remember that honeybees aren’t aggressive, and aren’t likely to sting those taking part in the seasonal soiree. Run for them, and help make sure they’re still around for eons to come.

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