Header photo by: Kim Bailey
What We’re All About
We invite you to learn about about Bee City USA's mission and what drives our organization forward towards positive change.
Bee City USA® galvanizes communities to sustain native pollinators – responsible for 1 in 3 bites we eat and the reproduction of almost 90% of the world's flowering plant species – by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants, and free to nearly free of pesticides. Bee City USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society.
Research has shown significant declines in native pollinator population sizes and ranges globally. During the past few years, there have been calls to action both nationally and internationally to reverse pollinator declines.
When people hear the word “bee” they often think of a single bee species, the European honey bee. However, the United States is also home to around 3,600 native (wild) bee species. Native pollinators are particularly important because they evolved alongside native plants and are therefore in many cases more effective pollinators.
Bee City USA works to conserve our native pollinators including bees, butterflies, and moths. The focus of Bee City USA is not honey bees, however steps to conserve our native pollinators including habitat enhancement and pesticide reduction are also beneficial to honey bees.
Thinking globally and acting locally, Bee City USA offers a positive vision based on available science, which encourages individual efforts while facilitating creative, constructive community partnerships.
With the aid of hundreds of volunteers, Bee City USA has adopted an “open source” model of program design. In other words, nothing about the effort is proprietary except the name. In this way towns, schools, libraries, neighborhood associations, garden clubs, universities, businesses, etc., are invited to use their existing community outreach programs to raise awareness of the vital ecosystem service pollinators provide and landscaping activities that use pesticides as judiciously as possible, if at all; and to choose locally native plants that bloom in succession throughout the growing season to provide forage and habitat for a wide variety of pollinators.
We encourage individuals and communities to start with the resources they have rather than spending years in large fundraising campaigns for showplace gardens. Pollinators don’t need showplaces; they need food (pollen and nectar) and places to mate, nest and overwinter.
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THERE IS A PLACE FOR EVERYONE AT OUR TABLE.