EARTH CENTER, SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Spring is on its way and the birds and bees will soon be busy in East Brunswick.  What's the best way to make your own honey?  How do birds get counted and accounted for?

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County invites you to visit the EARTH Center to learn about birds and bees.Two free events will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the EARTH Center, located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park at 42 Riva Avenue in South Brunswick.

From 10 a.m. to noon “An Introduction to Beekeeping” will teach the basics of establishing a hive on your property and about the positive impact hobbyist beekeepers have had on the environment’s honeybee population. The kinds of plants to use as pollen sources in gardens will also be discussed. A supply of catalogues will be on hand to show the materials necessary for beekeeping. If weather permits, the lecture will be followed by a brief walk outside.

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The “Great Backyard Bird Count” will follow the bee workshop. Rutgers Master Gardeners of Middlesex County will offer guided tours between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Count sheets will be completed during the tour and then collected to be entered into the Cornell University database. 

The event will be held simultaneously with the Audubon Society and Cornell University Lab’s “Great Backyard Bird Count.” Please bring your own binoculars and field guides. Dress appropriately for outdoor hiking. Tour guides will be available to assist your party, or you can explore the park on your own.

Beginning birders and experts are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to Carol Richiusa at 
732-398-5262 or carol.richiusa@co.middlesex.nj.us.

Both events will be held rain or shine.

“These classes should generate a lot of interest in birding and beekeeping, and allow those who have never thought about these hobbies to understand their purpose and importance,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee.

  “I encourage residents to attend these wonderful and informative events in beautiful Davidson Mill Pond Park,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Davidson Mill Pond Park has recorded 100 bird species to date, and we’d like to make the count even bigger, and to help scientists record the migration patterns of these birds.”

For more information on the bird count, visit: http://birds.audubon.org/great-backyard-bird-count

For information on programs offered by Middlesex County’s Cooperative Extension call 732-398-5260 or visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov and search “extension.”

Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.