Honey bees threatened by mites and pesticides

RED LODGE, Mont. - Bee City USA, the organization that fosters sustainable habitats for pollinators across the U.S. since 2012, has reached its first Montana city. In a press release, affiliation declared Red Lodge’s commitment to “think globally, act locally” when it comes to pollinator conservation.

The City of Red Lodge first began the process of becoming an affiliate in March of 2019 when the Parks, Trees and Recreation Board brought it to City Council. The Parks Board and City Council were ready to move forward when COVID-19 halted the process in 2020. City Council adopted the Bee City USA Resolution on March 9, 2021. They said affiliation will be managed by the Trees and Bees Subcommittee of the Parks Board.

“We are proud to be the first municipality to become a Bee City USA in the state of Montana,” Mayor Bill Larson said. “This is good for our community to be recognized as a place that supports pollinators.”

To become a certified Bee City or Bee Campus USA affiliate, cities and institutions must commit to reviewing their landscape design and maintenance plans with pollinators in mind. They must also develop and publish a recommended species list of locally native plants, trees and shrubs, along with an Integrated Pest Management plan that instructs the City to seek biological controls for managing pests over toxic, chemical management techniques. The City of Red Lodge said they will have a page dedicated to these resources when its new website launches.

Certified Bee Cities and Campuses serve as demonstration sites of pollinator-friendly landscaping for their communities and inspire the public to adopt these same landscaping principles in an effort to improve the environment and reverse the decline of pollinator populations. Red Lodge is the first Bee City USA affiliate in the state of Montana. Montana State University became a Bee Campus affiliate in 2018.

Bee City USA, an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, was founded in Asheville, North Carolina, and currently spans across 43 states. Bees are responsible for 1 in 3 bites of food and their populations have drastically declined. 

Bee City USA® is a national nonprofit organization that galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators— responsible for the reproduction of 90% of the world's wild plant species – by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. To read the annual reports from Bee City USA’s certified cities and campuses, you can visit reports.beecityusa.org/.

For more information on Bee City USA or how to become a certified city or campus, you can visit www.beecityusa.org.

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