Healdsburg will welcome thousands of new seasonal residents in the months ahead. There's no negative buzz, however. That's because they'll be winged, and randomly gathering pollen.
Sonoma County announced this week a deal with Tauzer Apiaries to store bee boxes near the county's transfer station.
Claire Tauzer is among the owners of the local family company.
“Bees are kind of like cows, they need forage and they need pasture. You can’t leave them in areas where nothing’s blooming so, it’s absolutely vital that we bring them back to other areas to have what we call a ‘pollination vacation’ where they can rebuild their honey stores and forage on different types of flowering plants at different times of the year.”
Rented out to farmers to pollinate crops in the early spring, such as almond orchards, they still need food after crops start to set.
Dan Virkstis, a county spokesperson, said officials worked out a deal to park the bees on a spot near the Healdsburg transfer station. It's a sweet deal for the apiary company, which will pay $5 a year.
"Apparently its not easy to find places to store or to host bee colonies, and it was brought forward to the board, the board decided that because this piece of county land was vacant, it made sense to develop a license agreement and store the bee hives. It's good for the local farms and gardens, it's good for the land and its good to support a business."
Tauzer said those with certain flowering plants may see more winged visitors this year.
"The bees will orient themselves based on what's blooming, so people who are super-close might see a little more activity from honeybees in their garden, but they might not, because it depends on what's blooming and the time of year."
The bees, in their box hives, should arrive in April.