Congratulations to Mayor Amanda Edmonds and the people of Ypsilanti, Michigan, the 12th city to be certified a Bee City USA! City Council voted unanimously on June 16 to approve their Bee City USA resolution and to file a complete application committing to:
Kudos to Jamie and the members of the Ypsilanti Bee City Committee who are making the world safer for pollinators, one city at a time!
Talent, Oregon was the second city to become a certified Bee City USA. On June 20, Talent's Mayor Darby Stricker issued a proclamation observing National Pollinator Week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCKLTGQpWe8
Having at least one annual awareness event like this is a requirement of being a certified Bee City USA.
The Pesticide Action Network operates a website called "What's On My Food?" It addresses pesticides found in our food as well as those pesticides' toxicity to pollinators.
Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
In city after city, pollinator champions like Jamie Berlin are mobilizing communities on behalf of hardworking bees, butterflies, beetles, hummingbirds, flies, wasps, moths--all manner of pollinators. Berlin helped start “Ypsi Melissa,” a community organization which offers workshops, beekeeping mentoring, bee gardens, hive sponsorship, and a hive host program.
Berlin got her start at the Local Honey Project, part of the Ypsilanti Food Co-op. She also helped found the Festival of the Honeybee, celebrating its 3rd year this fall.
Thanks to Jamie, Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo, and others who wanted the Charter Township of Ypsilanti to take a stand for the bees.
The city seal of Wilmington was prophetic: a beehive busy with worker bees rests on a dock in the Cape Fear River in this important Atlantic seaport city. New Hanover County Beekeepers Association, under the leadership of Ashley Stephenson, got busy too to make their case for why Wlimington should be certified as a Bee City USA community.
We look forward to hearing how Wilmington is enhancing and expanding habitat for pollinators.
What' s That Buzz I Hear in Downtown Asheville? Downtown Shops Welcome Pollination Celebration! Week With Bee Swarms in Windows
"Art has the power to communicate truth and inspire people to action." Artist Libba Tracy
Once again Libba Tracy has inspired the community to think about imperiled pollinators, but she asks us to really LOOK at them. Her simply illustrated white honeybee decal placed tastefully in more than 125 downtown shop windows beckons people into shops to ask why they are appearing all over Asheville. This is just the kind of conversation Libba hoped for.
Once inside, they may find brochures about Pollination Celebration! events planned to continue the dialogue. Whether they attend a documentary, a garden tour, a scholarly presentation or a honey beer tasting, they will learn something about the important role pollinators play in making our world bloom and fruit.
Soon we will post a list of all the participating shops. Twin Leaf Brewery is releasing its new honey beer in honor of the week and will contribute $1 for every honey beer sold on Thursday, June 18, to Bee City USA.
Thanks to Libba, the participating shop owners who are helping us promote the week's events, the Asheville Downtown Association, Signarama, and the many volunteers who visited about 200 shops to ask for their participation.
All certified Bee City USA communities commit to doing at least one educational event each year. With nine certified communities and growing, we intend to capture good ideas like this one from each city to share with and inspire one another.
Recent Guildford College graduate, Samantha Derr, began her 10 week internship with Bee City USA on May 4. She is providing invaluable help with Pollination Celebration! 2015 logistics and promotion. Many thanks to the Conservation Trust for North Carolina for this paid internship program.
In 2008, CTNC established the program for minority students with our state’s 10 historically black colleges and universities. Through this program, now expanded to all NC colleges and universities, CTNC, local land trusts, and other conservation groups introduce promising students to careers in conservation and introduce conservation organizations to potential employees.
For more information about the program, contact Melanie Allen, CTNC's Conservation and Diversity Coordinator at email@example.com or (919)828-4199, ext 21.
Not to be outdone by nearby Talent and Ashland, Pheonix organizers got busy as bees to complete their application and adopt their resolution to become a certified Bee City USA community. Like their neighbors, Phoenix is active in the Pollinator Project Rogue Valley. Sharon Schmidt, known for organizing the Oregon Honey Festival in Phoenix, won endorsements from the Parks and Recreation Department, the Native Plant Society, the Garden Club and others.
Congratulations to all! We look forward to what Phoenix has to teach us about establishing healthy habitats for bees and butterflies.
Only having been certified a Bee City USA community on May 7, Hendersonville, North Carolina, has already installed 5 Bee City USA signs below its Tree City USA signs. This is no coincidence.
In Hendersonville's home in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, honeybees make most of their honey from trees, due to biologically diverse forests rich in basswood, tulip poplar, black locust, and sourwood trees, to name a few.
In crafting the Bee City USA concept, our steering committee considered Tree City USA an apt model because of how effective the program has been at garnering citizen and city staff support for maintaining a healthy urban canopy. Both that kind of community buy-in AND the urban canopy are vital to sustaining pollinators.
Now Hendersonville's Tree Board, the committee designated to facilitate the community's Bee City USA activities, wants to update their "Species List For Street Trees and Land Development Projects" to either include a section about trees of high value to pollinators or possibly color code pollinator friendly trees within each of the existing categories.
Thanks to the Tree Board, the Environmental Sustainability Board, and the Public Works Department for their vision and commitment to collaboration on behalf of pollinators!
Bee City USA Certified Cities created with eSpatial mapping software.
Seattle's City Council voted unanimously today to become a certified Bee City USA community, bringing the total number of certified cities to eight! This followed their vote on September 23, 2014 to prohibit use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides on all city-owned and operated land, as this class of pesticide is linked with harm to critical pollinating insects, like bees. The Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Center, Finance and Administrative Services, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Libraries all made the recommendation to eliminate the use of neonicotinoids at City facilities.
Bob Redmond, owner of the Urban Bee Company and executive director of The Common Acre, which was instrumental in bringing pollinator habitat and art to Sea-Tac airport (the "Flight Path" project), was also instrumental in building a coalition over the past two years in support of Bee City USA certification.
Many thanks to Bob Redmond, Seattle City Council, Seattle City Light, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and the countless other pollinator advocates in Seattle for their passion and vision!
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA director and board.