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Honey Bee Village

Honey Bee Village historic Oro Valley property

The site of Honey Bee Village is a Hohokam ballcourt village located in Oro Valley. It was initially recorded by archaeologists from Pima Community College in 1978 and was acknowledged by the Arizona State Museum.

Honey Bee Village was first settled near the start of the Hohokam cultural sequence, around A.D. 450, and was continuously occupied up to about A.D. 1250.

This Hohokam village includes a cluster of 19 large mounds surrounding a plaza, a ballcourt and a special-use walled enclosure. As many as 500 to 800 domestic houses are present at the site along with many other cultural features. Desert Archaeology, Inc. indicates that the site has been determined to meet eligibility criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. It was originally mapped as covering nearly 80 acres, but a portion of the site was destroyed through earlier road and residential construction. The site area now measures 50 acres.

Located along Honey Bee Wash east of North Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and south of the Moore Road alignment, Honey Bee Village is the only remaining intact large Hohokam village site in Oro Valley. This large prehistoric village in the Cañada del Oro Valley and is a strong linkage to Oro Valley's past. An implementation plan was initiated due to the interest that the Town, Pima County, the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Arizona State Museum have in preserving the Village intact.

Honey Bee Village is a very important cultural resource whose undisturbed, buried remains contain an important reservoir of information about the prehistory of the northwest Tucson Basin. Equally important, the Tohono O’odham Nation considers Honey Bee Village an ancestral site. The remarkable status of Honey Bee Village as the only large intact Hohokam village remaining in Oro Valley area makes it one of the most significant cultural resources in Pima County.

The 13-acre core of Honey Bee Village is being preserved in situ for future generations. The core contains most of the large mounds, the ballcourt, the large plaza and the rock-walled enclosure. The core will become an archaeological preserve, which will be protected in perpetuity from development.

Access to the Preserve is controlled for preservation and management purposes. A permanent wall was placed on an easement on the adjoining property to avoid disturbance to the Preserve. Public access to Honey Bee Village Archaeological Preserve is along a public easement through the commercial development from Moore Road to the boundary wall gate within the Archaeological Display Area. Limited access to the Preserve by the neighboring residents is through the Archaeological Park, accessible from the Preserve. A public access easement through the residential development allows trail users to access the Preserve through a gate on the northern boundary of the Preserve.  Honey Bee Preserve is protected by Arizona state statute, and collection of plants, artifacts, rocks, or any items is strictly prohibited and violators will be prosecuted. Honey Bee Preserve is monitored on a regular basis by Arizona Site Steward program volunteers.

People and animals have the potential to degrade the Preserve in many ways. To minimize any degradation of the Preserve, it is accessible exclusively for pedestrian use. No wheeled conveyances, except for maintenance activities, will be allowed in the Preserve. Equestrian use is not permitted and pets are prohibited within the Preserve. Americans With Disabilities Act requirements will be met, thus service animals, wheelchairs and walkers as defined by the American with Disabilities Act may be used by persons with disabilities.