Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tickle Bees Star at Sabin School

If you've noticed little bees buzzing in your grass, with tiny piles of dirt pushed up around little holes in bare patches, you might be lucky enough to be hosting Andrena bees, also known as miner bees. Sabin School, in northeast Portland, noticed that there was a large population of bees in the ball field adjacent to their school. Rather than calling in exterminators, they called the Xerces Society, a non-profit organization that works to preserve invertebrates and their habitats.

After examining the bees, to the relief of school officials and parents, the society told them they had a species of non-stinging bees in the family Andrenidae. In fact, the field was home to one of the largest populations of the bees that the Xerces Society had documented. Now the bees are not only the subject of science classes at the school, but they've been named the school's official mascots, the Tickle Bees.

Recently, local television station KATU came out to talk with Mace Vaughan, director of the Xerces Society's pollinator program, to talk about the bees.

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