Bees are enjoying their days in the sun on a clean energy farm in southern Oregon.  The Eagle Point solar farm outside of Medford is the largest "solar apiary" in the country, incorporating designs that benefit pollinators.  The solar farm is home to 48 bee colonies interspersed among solar panels, which are generating enough energy to power more than 21-hundreds homes annually.  Rob Davis with the nonprofit Fresh Energy said this isn't just a potted plant in the corner of a 40-acre field.


"It does obviously recognize that these are managed landscapes and that the site is first and foremost an energy generation facility. But within that context, there are significant ways to manage the vegetation so that it's incrementally and meaningfully beneficial to honeybees and all the native pollinators and wildlife."


Davis said this idea has been growing in Europe in recent years and now pollinator-friendly solar projects are underway in a dozen states.  While upfront costs could be a barrier, he says adding pollinators to solar farms has many upsides, including increased soil health from native plants and lowered maintenance costs.



If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail

More From PNW Ag Network