Give bees a chance
It has been said that the best thing that one can do to help the bees is to put in bee-friendly plants. I have been following the negotiations between the neighbors and the school district around the new solar panels, paying particular attention to the solution, which seems to be landscaping to screen the panels from the neighbors.
I hope that the landscape architect and the school district will consider using bee-friendly plants for their screening. More bang for the buck. Cittaslow Pollinator Pals has put together a great plant list with recommendations for perennials which bloom in all seasons of the year, providing food for the bees to keep them safe and fed all year long. I would be happy to share that list with the school district and the landscape architect.
I can already hear the neighbors saying that they are allergic to bees or they are afraid of bees. As a beekeeper and one of the managers for the Bee Count project in Sonoma Valley last year, I can say that the bees have no interest in attacking you. Bees are interested only in finding the food source. If you get too close to them and stay for too long, they will simply get out of your way and go to another flower.
It's the wasps that will be doing the attacking, giving the native bees and honey bees a bad rap! Give bees a chance.
I'll have copies of the free plant list at my booth at the Tuesday night farmers market in case any readers want one.