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Three American towns are leading the way in protecting the honeybee by becoming an official “Bee City.”

Talent, Oregon along with Asheville and Carrboro in North Carolina have recently passed laws to promote the growing of bee-friendly native plants and sustainable farming practices, and have made it a priority to educate local residents about the plight of honeybees. Their aim is to bolster civic pride and encourage everyone to do their part, both for the honeybee and for the local community.

Hoping that Asheville would be the first city to launch a buzzing movement across the nation, members of the Buncombe County Chapter of the NC State Beekeepers Association and the non-profit organization Center for Honeybee Research established the Bee City USA program in 2012.

Here is some more information about Asheville becoming the first inaugural Bee City:

Ironically, these days, apiaries often do better in the city than they do in the country side because of the chemicals used in conventional farming.

When I first started researching the disappearance of the honeybee back in 2007, we had to sneak into an undercover bee yard back in Chinatown Luna vanishing of the bees because it was illegal to keep bees in Los Angeles. Following several years and a lengthy lobbying effort from bee lovers, the city of Santa Monica finally legalized beekeeping in 2013. Los Angeles however is still taking its first steps to allow urban beekeeping in the city.

Help legalize beekeeping in Los Angeles by signing the petition in support our friends at the nonprofit HoneyLove.

Fortunately many other cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York have embraced apiaries along with international municipalities like London, Vancouver, Berlin, and Montréal. Here are some other interesting locations where beehives have popped up.

Bee City USA encourages cities across the nation to explore joining the Bee City USA movement by completing the application process.

“As cities and towns across America become attuned to the universe of creatures that make the planet bloom, we will become more conscientious about what we plant and how we maintain our green spaces,” reads their website.

One in every three bites of food we eat is courtesy of insect pollination.


Featured image credit: (CC) Nicolás Boullosa


Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.

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