VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Bee hives have been installed on the roof of the New Seasons Market in Vancouver as part of the grocery chain's "Bee Part of the Solution" campaign.
The company did the same thing in April at its Happy Valley, Ore., store and it may put bees at its nine other stores in the Portland metro area.
As first reported in The Columbian, New Seasons might start selling its own honey brand or using the honey in its products. Another goal is to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and the risk to their survival from pesticides, parasites and disease.
Portland beekeeper Damian Magista of the Bee Local company moved 50,000 bees Monday to the Fisher's Landing market in Vancouver. Experts said its population of rooftop bees could grow to more than 120,000 by next spring.
“It’s an effort to bring awareness about how important honey bees are and how important native pollinators are to our environment around us,” Magista said. “If pollinators and honey bees were to disappear, we would lose a third of our food supply.”
As for any shoppers who may be worried about getting stung, the bees are actually very calm and will likely go unnoticed, according to Magista.
(KGW reporter Keely Chalmers contributed to this report.)