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The Mercer County Park Commission invites you to join the fight against declining bee populations by taking part in a family-oriented conservation program. The Build a Bee Abode Workshop will take place on Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Tulpehaking Nature Center and will provide participants with the knowledge and materials to create a bee-utiful bee home.

The 300 different species of bees native to New Jersey are of vital importance to the state’s reputation as “The Garden State.” More than 100 crops depend on bees for pollination — including the famous (and delicious) Jersey tomato. Scientists worry that native bees are decreasing in number due to lack of good nesting habitat in urban areas. Do your part to welcome bees back into your yard. (Don’t worry; most native bees don’t tend to sting. Visitors will learn why in the program.)

In this workshop, participants will join Kelly Rypkema, Naturalist and Nature Center Manager, for a short presentation about native bees and techniques to attract them, and then take to the trails to collect the materials and construct these humble abodes to take home.

This workshop is $5 per person or $20 per family, and is appropriate for ages 6 and up. Pre-registration is required; please call 609-303-0706 or e-mail natureprograms@mercercounty.org.

The Tulpehaking Nature Center is located at 157 Westcott Ave. in Hamilton. During the summer and through Sept. 13, 2015, the nature center is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The nature center provides programs and exhibits that encourage visitors to explore and discover the many cultural, historic and natural resources of the Abbott Marshlands. It is owned by the County of Mercer and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission. For more information about the nature center, programs and schedule of events, go to www.mercercountyparks.org.

The Mercer County Park Commission offers a variety of nature programs for adults, children and families. For more information and to receive the Summer 2015 Nature Program brochure, e-mail natureprograms@mercercounty.org or call 609-303-0706.

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