Sonoma County will be using vacant, open land to host over 100 beehives seasonally, county officials announced recently.

A three-year agreement was announced between Tauzer Apiaries of Northern California and the county to host up to 120 hives on a portion of county property on Alexander Valley Road next to the Healdsburg Transfer Station waste and recycling site.

The Board of Supervisors approved the plan back in December. The agreement was announced Feb. 14.

“We know honeybees are essential pollinators that help plants, flowers and food crops reproduce,” said Board Chair Chris Coursey. “This is an opportunity to help local farms, orchards and gardens, while at the same time support a local business in its mission to enhance biodiversity in Sonoma County and throughout California.”

The hives will be installed in early spring, covering a 5,000-square-foot area on pallets of four hives each, county officials said. Tauzer Apiaries will monitor the hives and pay the county $5 per colony per year.

According to the Sonoma County code, county property can be made available at less than market rate if the Board of Supervisors deems its use a valid community asset.