- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2015

MASON, Ohio (AP) - Some Cincinnati Zoo employees are working to help the declining number of bees.

The zoo’s staff members call themselves Pollen Nation and they tend their beehives at the zoo’s Bowyer Farm property six miles north of Mason, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported (https://cin.ci/1GzNoBS).

Pollen Nation said they want to introduce 255,000 honeybees to the zoo’s EcOhio Farm.

The zoo features a new beehive exhibit and will offer beekeeping classes.

“We wanted to take what we’re doing out here a little closer to home and allow people to realize that honeybees can be harmless to people, are more beneficial than anything and that you can do this in your own backyard,” said Adam Martinez, who works in the zoo’s horticulture department.

“We rely on honeybees to pollinate a lot of the crops. It’s imperative that we keep these creatures around,” he said.

Reports of steady declines in bees have increased public interest in backyard beekeeping, said Liz Tilton an instructor for the group.

“An exciting part of the story is that we can inspire action in our community,” she said. “Everybody can plant native wildflowers in their homes, schools and businesses, and we can create a movement that illustrates local, impactful conservation.”

She said she taught herself how to tend bees.

“I read books and I got online and joined a couple of beekeeping forums and I read like crazy.”


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, https://www.enquirer.com

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