Coon Rapids resident Jennifer Pelton has been a beekeeper for many years. It’s a time-intensive hobby she first learned as a young girl from her father, while growing up on an apple orchard.
"I really enjoy being outside and just, you know, being in the hive and smelling the hive. It's just something I really enjoy," Pelton said.
This week marks Pollinator Week, June 20-26, across the globe. It is a time to celebrate the valuable services which bees and other pollinators provide to our global health.
"Honey Bees are pollinators,” Pelton said. “But what I like about bee keeping is it encourages people to see bees as just gentle safe creatures that they are they're not like hornets or wasps."
Pelton is one of two volunteer bee keepers involved in a pilot program with the City of Coon Rapids. There are two test hives this year on city-owned property. The city's Sustainability Planner, Olivia Dorow Hovland has been leading the project.
"We're bringing staff out see how the hives behave,” Dorow Holand said. “We're doing research into what other cities allow for when it comes to bee keeping."
Coon Rapids does not have a bee keeping ordinance. Although there's been increased interest among residents who want to keep bees. The Coon Rapids City Council will decide what they want to do, regarding bee keeping, by the end of the year.
For years, Coon Rapids has worked to increase the habitat available for pollinators by creating native prairie restoration projects in a number of parks, and other sites around the city.
"If you are interested in helping pollinators, one of the first and easiest steps you can take is to plant pollinator-friendly plantings in your yard,” Dorow Hovland said.
You can start with just one flower pot, put a few different pollinator-friendly plants in there and go from there."
For more information on how you can help the honey bees and other pollinators, check out this link.