People are all abuzz about an event this weekend that will give them up-close access to the city’s hidden honeybee hives.
On June 7, The Tour de Hives will take cyclists and bee enthusiasts through several neighborhoods including Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, and Chestnut Hill to observe active apiaries and learn about the beneficial impacts the insects have on the environment.
“The event is meant to educate and engage the public in beekeeping and pollination, and all the interconnectedness that can be observed between humans and insects and plants,” said Sadie Richards Brown, president of the Boston Area Beekeepers Association, the organization hosting the event.
Brown said the tour will make stops at the Agricultural Hall, which sells beekeeping supplies and teaches workshops about honeybees; Allendale Farm; and a teaching apiary at the Boston Nature Center.
“The beekeepers will have spare veils for people to wear if they feel more comfortable and want to get up close,” said Brown of the visits to the hives. “But the bees really aren’t looking to bother anyone. They are really quite docile — honeybees aren’t going to sting unless they’re really provoked.”
The Benevolent Bee in Jamaica Plain, Urban Adventours bike tours, and the Best Bees Company are sponsoring the fifth annual tour.
Jean-Claude Bourrut, a bee expert who taught classes through the Northeast Farming Association, started the bike tour, said Brown.
Since Bourrut recently moved back to France, Brown has assumed the role of organizer for the Tour de Hives.
This year, the association’s aim was to make the event family-friendly. To do that, they introduced a special tour route, with shorter biking distances and alternative bee activities.
“We really want to get the kids out and excited about bees,” Brown said.
The bike tour will be followed by a festival and picnic lunch at the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain, on South Street.
Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.