After Mayor Lydia Lavelle started the discussion by saying she hoped it would not be a sting operation, the Carrboro Board of Alderman voted unanimously October 7 to become the third Bee City USA community! The idea started with Marty Hanks of Just Bee Apiary and Randy Dodd, Carrboro's Environmental Planner. In September they asked the Environmental Advisory Board to endorse the town's resolution and application.
In Dodd's presentation, he called attention to the many ways Carrboro was already pollinator-friendly in its community interests and in its adopted policies. The beekeeping community is strong and the town's landscaping emphasizes native plants. The community celebrates local food and is a national leader in its Least Toxic Integrated Pest Management policy adopted in 1999. Carrboro even bought a steam machine to kill invasive weeds with hot water rather than using a synthetic herbicide! Alderman Chaney quipped, "It's not even a question of whether to bee or not to bee, we are!"
As the network of Bee City USA communities grows, we will teach each other how to make our planet safer for pollinators and ourselves.
View a video of the discussion here which ended with an alderman suggesting that the presenters just buzz off.
Ever since Talent became a Bee City USA community in early August, interest in helping the bees just keeps growing. On September 22, leader Dolly Warden spoke to the neighboring city of Ashland about why they should become a Bee City USA affiliate and described the process Talent had followed. They formed a grassroots group of citizens to educate themselves and then city council about why pollinators needed their help and how cities could make a difference.
Bee City USA's application process helped them to develop a foundation--a standing committee, signage, website, plant list, annual proclamation and celebration--but the most important thing they did was to make the people of Talent more PC--pollinator conscious, that is. Now they have a pollinator garden at the elementary school, they're talking about a pollinator garden corridor throughout the town, and just yesterday, they pulled together a wide array of people and organizations to rescue a feral beehive wrapped around power lines 20 feet in the air. Public Works staff even built a special box with an observation window to place the colony in, branch and all. It was a TV news event and applause erupted when the bees and their rescuer were safe and sound on the ground. Yay bees! Yay Talent!
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA director and board.