Julie Tennis will discuss bees and caring for them during tonight’s Evening Talk in Forks.

Julie Tennis will discuss bees and caring for them during tonight’s Evening Talk in Forks.

Helping bees topic of Evening Talk

FORKS — Julie Tennis, owner and operator of Bee Haven Apiaries, will talk about how to help both native and honey bees at tonight’s edition of the Olympic Natural Resource Center’s Evening Talks.

The lecture, “Helping Bees Help Us All,” will be at 7 p.m. at the center at 1455 S. Forks Ave., Forks.

Refreshments will be served and a potluck of desserts is encouraged.

Both native bees and honey bees are declining due to a number of threats, according to coordinator Frank Hanson.

The lecture will discuss “how we can each help our bees for our mutual future,” he said, adding that it “will offer three simple steps we can take to make their lives easier: providing food, habitat, and areas free from chemical contamination.”

More than 200 species of native bees live in Western Washington. Tennis will provide an overview of some of the more common types of bees in the area and how they can be supported.

Tennis’ beekeeping business has 27 honeybee colonies in two states. She has been keeping bees since 2008, running what she refers to as “honeybee retirement communities.”

While most beekeepers manage their colonies for honey production or pollination services, Tennis prefers to let the bees live out their lives naturally, without chemicals and without replacing queens.

Excess honey is sold to local farmers markets to help subsidize the cost of maintaining the colonies.

Tennis has been educating the public about bees and beekeeping for six years through workshops, presentations and her website at http://www.bee mentor.com/.

“Her goal is to instill in others a sense of empathy and admiration for bees,” Hanson said.

“The more we understand and care about these animals, the more we will do to help them survive. Our actions ultimately affect the reproductive success of the plants that feed all of us, from birds to bears to humans.”

Tennis is also the Coastal Region FieldSTEM Coordinator for PEI, Pacific Education Institute of Olympia.

Evening Talks at ONRC is funded through the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry, ongoing educational awareness, and the Forks community.

For more information, contact Hanson at 360-374-4556 or fsh2@uw.edu.

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