Bees have more friends in high places than they once had.  Large die-offs of bee populations have convinced people to take greater care of bees and other pollinators. 

Bee City USA formed a few years ago to identify bee-friendly communities across the country, and three neighboring Rogue Valley cities--Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix--are among the first 15 cities so designated. 

Southern Oregon University, now designated a "Bee Campus," hosts a conference on pollinators and the issues they face, this weekend. 

Maybe you know one of those people who is just afraid of bees, and runs when they come near.  They may not change quickly, but society's attitude toward bees is evolving. 

Massive bee kills and ongoing population problems have highlighted the importance of, and challenges to, bees. 

They got their own day this year, with August 15th designated Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day in Oregon. 

Beekeeping For Beginners

Apr 17, 2015

So many people are interested in beekeeping right now, the next beginner class at the Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association sold out. 

The word is spreading about just how important bees are to the pollination of many plants, including many we depend upon for food. 

So we'll present something of a mini-class for beginners. 

Blooms Too Early For Bees

Mar 17, 2015

The official start of spring is not until Friday, March 20th.  But the weather in much of the region has been spring-like for weeks. 

And that means flowers are blooming, and fruit trees are ready for pollination by bees. 

Trouble is, the bees aren't ready. 

Sarah Red-Laird, the Rogue Valley's "Bee Girl," is concerned the bees will not have enough to eat later in the year. 

Pollinator Recommendations Deliver A Sting

Dec 2, 2014

The thousands of bees that died in Oregon a couple of summers ago did not die in vain. 

The die-off, a result of pesticide use, increased awareness of both the value of bees (and other pollinators) and the perils of ignorance in chemical use. 

The Xerces Society and other groups that want more protections for pollinators hailed the formation of a task force to make recommendations to the legislature. 

The task force recently presented its work, and Xerces is less than pleased. 

Sweet Time At The Oregon Honey Festival

Nov 14, 2014

Maybe the physical environment is tough, but the cultural climate is really good for bees right now. 

The mass bee kills of 2013 in Oregon only added to a growing concern over the fate of bees and other pollinators. 

And the fruits of their efforts will be celebrated this weekend at the Oregon Honey Festival

Building A Better Bee

Aug 13, 2014

Bees are critically important to plants and the food supply, and they've had serious survival problems in recent years. 

We could work to remove all possible health hazards for bees from the environment, but that's a long and slow process. 

What we could also do is work to breed "tougher" bees, bees with greater resistance to mites and disease. 

Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association President John Jacob is involved in the effort to breed sturdier bees. 

A Week To Celebrate Pollinators

Jun 18, 2014

How much of what we take for granted in the plant world would disappear without pollinators? 

We probably don't want to find out. 

Problems with bee colony die-offs in recent years pointed out the many things bees and other pollinators make possible. 

Those accomplishments are celebrated during Pollinator Week this week. 

Eugene Takes Action On Pesticides

Mar 10, 2014

It's not easy to say "neonicotinoid pesticide," perhaps harder still to pass legislation regulating it. 

The Oregon Legislature backed off new regulations on the pesticides, opting instead for further study and a task force. 

This is the class of pesticides blamed for a major bee kill near Portland in Summer 2013. 

Trying To Turn Bee Concern Into Legislation

Feb 20, 2014

The killing of tens of thousands of bees in the Portland area last year sparked widespread concern about the use of pesticides. 

And the concern translated to regulation, but so far, no legislation.  A bill to toughen up some pesticide laws just got watered down in the Oregon legislature.

Campaigning For A Ban On Neonicotinoids

Nov 20, 2013

The bodies of 50,000 dead bees no longer litter the parking lot of a Portland-area shopping center.

But the impact of last June's bee kill is still being felt. 

Being Good To The Bees

Sep 6, 2013

The recent pesticide-caused bee deaths in northern Oregon underscored the importance of bees to agriculture… and so to us and our food supply.  No education on this point is necessary for the people at Wild Bee International in Eagle Point.  You'll hear about the group's work with bees, and what it hopes to accomplish for bees and all of us who depend upon them.  Other beekeepers and bee fans join in the discussion.