Bee City USA E-News, December 2017
Happy 2018!
With Your Support,
We Are Reversing Pollinator Declines!
Each year at Bee City USA we become more hopeful that together we can reverse pollinator declines in the United States. Why? Because communities and campuses continue committing to being more PC ("pollinator conscious") as Bee City USA or Bee Campus USA affiliates.

To date, 62 cities or counties and 31 campuses have begun changing America's landscaping paradigm to welcome vital pollinators into our yards, gardens, traffic islands, roadsides, parks, and educational and corporate campuses.

Bee City USA affiliates range in population size from 1,577 (Lookout Mountain, GA) to 864,816 (San Francisco, CA) and now even include a military base--Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,where the Wright Brothers flew the first airplanes in a natural midwestern prairie, now beautifully restored by the air force base! Bee Campus USA affiliates vary from community colleges (Portland Community College) to research institutions (Georgia Tech), to urban universities (University of Illinois at Chicago) to religious institutions (Gonzaga University).

We are filled with gratitude for your volunteer, institutional, municipal, in-kind and financial support.

Here are a few highlights from 2017.
You Are Inspiring Your Communities to Action!
There's no shortage of bad news! The rusty-patch bumble bee was added to the Endangered Species List in spring 2017, and more bumble bees and butterflies are possible candidates in coming years. Despite reams of research proving the harmful effects of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides on pollinators and other species, t he EPA is currently considering whether to allow spraying the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam on 6 commodity crops covering 165 million acres of farmland.

But you are undeterred. Through innovation, persistence, and persuasion, you are rallying your communities to demonstrate there's a better way to sustain all living things on our planet. You are bringing attention to E.O. Wilson's "little things that run the world."

What each affiliate shares is excellent leadership and commitment to setting an example for being pollinator-friendly through enhancing pollinator health and habitat, providing education and outreach, and revising landscaping-related policies and practices. Campuses even incorporate pollinator conservation into their curriculum and service learning programs.

Thanks to technology volunteer Scott Offord at Beepods , this spring you will be able to read all about each affiliate's accomplishments (supplied through annual reporting each January) on a new website. We couldn't be more excited to share our affiliates' good news.
Bee Campus USA #4 Portland Community College Lead Groundskeeper and Instruction Support Technician in Landscape Technology, Anne LeSenne, and Sustainability Coordinator, Elaine Cole, explain companion planting in the College's orchard at the Rock Creek campus.
Nationally and Locally, We Embrace Collaboration
The task of reversing pollinator decline is too great for any one organization to do alone and there is no time to waste. Each affiliate is modeling what it means to operate as an interdependent ecosystem, inviting the entire community into their pollinator conservation adventure.

Bee City USA became a member of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign in 2015, the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge in 2016, and the Monarch Joint Venture in 2017. We helped to launch our sister program, Bee City Canada in 2016.

We are especially grateful for the advice and assistance of the Xerces Society in helping with education, technical advice, and a new pesticide policy for municipalities.

Bee City USA presented a program about Bee Campus USA at the annual AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) conference in San Antonio this fall. AASHE now awards 2 extra points to Bee Campus USA affiliates in their STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) program and our webinar proposal has been accepted for 2018, The webinar will be led by Jackie Hamstead (UNC Asheville), Elaine Cole (Portland Community College), Emily O'Hara University of Connecticut, Storrs), and Phyllis Stiles (Bee City USA).
We Gave Them Something to Talk About!
News outlets and pollinator advocates across the nation are buzzing about Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA. Recently, Sustainable City Network, a website and print publication for leaders in government, education and healthcare, published a comprehensive story explaining both our community and campus programs.

The Smithsonian invited Bee City USA to speak at its first Earth Optimism Summit (if you open this link, scroll to the 41-minute point to hear the Bee City USA presentation and Dr. Doug Tallamy afterwards) for Earth Day weekend, and the Organic Growers School had Bee City USA and the Xerces Society host an 8-workshop pollinator track for their spring conference (which we will do again in 2018) attended by more than 2200 people.

A Stand Up Initiative grant from Darby Communications is helping us to improve our social media outreach even more.
Bee City USA Board Member and owner of Milkweed Meadows Farm, Kim Bailey, loves her dog, Mason, almost as much as she loves monarch butterflies.
We Learn to Love What We Understand
Education is key to recruiting pollinator conservationists. That's why Bee City USA now offers webinars with the likes of Dr. Doug Tallamy (Bringing Nature Home), Dr. David Inouye ( UN 's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services ), and Kim Bailey (Monarch Educator). Video recordings of these webinars are available. This year, Bee City USA also led webinars for other groups such as the EPA's Tribal Pollinator Workgroup and the Ohio State University Bee Lab.

Thanks to a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, we piloted our very first Certified Pollinator Advocate course this spring, for ten North Carolina affiliates. That residential 4-day course informed our plans a national certification course.

Check out our certified graduates in the photo above. Now we just need to find the funds to develop the distance learning course!
Special Thanks to Our Donors
Although Bee City USA continues to be completely volunteer-run, there are costs to managing a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

We are indebted to Chris Grater at Ink Mountain Recycling for supplying our printer cartridges, to Jennifer Maves at zenjenskin for being a sustaining supporter, to artists like Libba Tracy and Sally Lesesne for reaching people's hearts and pocketbooks through art, and to Asheville Bee Charmer and Nest Organics for collecting customer donations for us. These are just a few of the many business and individual supporters who have found creative ways to keep Bee City USA buzzing.

Asheville Bee Charmer owner Jillian Kelly holds bowl for Tammy Combs to pull the winning ticket for Sally Lesesne's "The Beekeeper" painting on November 29.
Can we open even more hearts and minds to imperiled pollinators responsible for 90% of the world's wild plant species and 1 in 3 bites we eat in 2018?

Yes, but only with your help.
Bee City USA | 828-545-4282 | |