Beehives installed on roof of grocery store in Vancouver - KPTV - FOX 12

Beehives installed on roof of grocery store in Vancouver

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

Two beehives have been installed on the roof of the Fisher's Landing New Seasons Market in Vancouver.

Managers tell FOX 12 the hives were installed to give bees a safe place to produce honey and educate all of us about how important pollinators are to the environment.

Portland beekeeper Damian Magista was hired to help the grocery store chain with its Bee Part of the Solution campaign. The hives will also help bring awareness to ongoing threats like pesticides and disease that can greatly impact bee populations, he said.

"Without bees, we would lose a significant portion of our food supply," Magista said. "So all our fruits, all our nuts, our vegetables, our diets would be absolutely horrible without bees."

Magista helps manage the hives. But New Seasons Market employees like Kathy Pierce will soon be trained to take over the responsibility.

"I enjoy learning about nature. So I was very excited to be part of this," Pierce said. "No reservations at all, I love it."

The honey that's eventually produced in the hives will likely be sold inside the store, managers said. But it'll take some time to get the hives established and through the winter months.

Next spring, managers expect the population will grow to more than 120,000 bees.

"A lot of the produce we sell in our stores is bought from local farmers who will benefit from these hives," said Chris Tjersland of New Seasons Market. "I mean, we have local farmers right here in Vancouver that technically fall into the range of where these bees will pollinate. So, it kind of goes full circle."

The bees are not typically aggressive, so they shouldn't bother customers at all, Magista said.

Beehives were also installed on the New Seasons Market in Happy Valley earlier this year. 

There are plans to expand the program to some of the chain's other stores, managers said.

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