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Learning encounter with bees Aug. 7 at Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge

Humans have been keeping bees for thousands of years to help pollinate food plants. The tradition continues at Rippon Lodge where people will have the chance to observe the lodge’s beehives and learn about the practice of beekeeping.

During the “Bee Encounter at Rippon Lodge,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 7, visitors to the historic property, at 15520 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge, will have the chance to learn about the history of beekeeping and the intriguing life of bees. “It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Rippon Historic Site Manager Jessica Alicea. “We’re hoping to engage families and encourage people to plant more bee-friendly gardens at home. We have little pots with seeds for them to take home and plant in the springtime.”

People who attend the event will have the opportunity to see bees at work making honey and feeding the queen. Experts will be on hand to talk one-on-one with visitors about bees and other insect pollinators. “They can actually look at a hive in the observation container,” Alicea said. “We have beekeeper outfits, and if people want to try them on and see how they feel, they can. The team from Environmental Services Division Mosquito and Forest Pest Management will also be coming and talking about other pollinator insects in Prince William County.”

Youngsters who visit Rippon Lodge will receive take-home projects as well, Alicea said. “We’re going to have a lot of crafts and activities for the kids that are bee-related.”

The aim of the event is to make people aware of the role bees play. “We hope they come to understand why bees and all of our pollinators are so important to our ecosystem and what a crucial role they play into plants growing,” Alicea said. “Without pollinators we won’t have food to eat. They’re very critical to the environment.”

Pre-register at Bee Encounter at Rippon Lodge. Admission is $10 per person for people 15 and older. Admission includes tours of the lodge.

Masks are strongly encouraged.

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