Boulevard Park Place, a seniors community just off Military Road above the Duwamish River at 125th Street, is a place for bees too.
Several residents goat a bee in their bonnets to raise the busy creatures, importing them from far away Oregon and as near as Ballard. The life of a honey bee is short and sweet (pun intended). Forgaging up to five miles ina a variety of directions, the girl bees do all the pollen searching while the boy bees stay behind to mate with the Queen while the drone bees build honeycombs for the fertilized eggs laid by, guess who…the Queen. Ron Steinman, general manager at the senior community, is also the head beekeeper. Ron entrusted Nancy Whitehair and Karen Hanley to assist several other including Betty Michealsen, Elise Fetzer, Kathleen Gosser, Kim Michaelsen, Mel Topf, Nedra Topf, Sandy Howard and Shirley Sibley. Together the group makes sure the hive is taken care of with plenty of sugar water and bee food that looks a bit like peanut butter. The bees love it, accodring to Karen Hanley.
What started out as a fun idea is in full swing. The hives, there are four, were painted by Nancy and Karen. Ron dons the bee suit to check the hives regularly while others brave the perimeter to assist where they can. Do they get stung sometimes but the adventure and the involvement with the beauty of nature is difficult to resist.
The beekeepers expect a nice harvest of fresh honey next year which they will use and likely donate to charity, much like their raised bed organic garden product just up the hill.