Sunday, July 22, 2012

Livin' in the Blurbs: To Bee or Not To Bee…

First chickens, then goats. Now being into bees is the latest preoccupation among urban agriculturists in this most ag-obsessed city. In its third year, the Tour de Hives not only celebrates this industrious pollinator, it gives enthusiasts (wannabees?) the opportunity to learn what's going on in the backyards of other apiarists and learn the secrets of their success. Coinciding with National Bee Day on August 18 and organized by the Zenger Farm Bee Group, the tour will feature hives in the North, Northeast, Southeast and Gladstone areas. Best of all, the day is capped by lifting pints and discussing the finer points of beekeeping at the Lucky Lab pub. Now to organize an urban pig tour followed by a smoke-off…

Details: Tour de Hives organized by the Zenger Farm Bee Group. Sun., Aug. 18, 1-4 pm; post-event gathering at Lucky Lab at 915 SE Hawthorne, 4-6 pm. Tickets $5-$15 sliding scale with preregistration.

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For those too squeamish (or allergic) to want to put in their own beehives, there are ways to promote these infinitely useful invertebrates. One Northeast neighborhood has organized the Sabin Bee-Friendly Front Garden Tour that shows how easy and beautiful it is to plant a bee-friendly habitat. With 30 neighborhood homes participating, the tour is self-guided and you can peruse the gardens at your leisure all summer long. Even more helpful, there's an audio track available narrated by the homeowners themselves talking about their gardens. It's a great opportunity to learn a lot with little effort other than taking a walk through this lovely area.

Details: Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Tour. Map available online or at Livingscape, Garden Fever or the Backyard Bird Shop Fremont location. Narrated audio track can be heard at 503-205-0326. For more information e-mail Diane Benson.

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And if the above activities aren't enough for you, or you get insanely inspired and become convinced bees are your new life's calling, there are several places you can get your bee on, learn more about hives and talk to your heart's content with other bee enthusiasts. (Don't you love living in Portland?) Check out these places for information:

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