(Gillette, Wyo.) On April 5th, City Council voted in favor of Gillette becoming a certified "Bee City." Bee City USA
is an organization that promotes
"pollinator friendliness." Campbell County and the City of Gillette have
already accomplished a lot to encourage bee health in the community, which
was a big part in accomplishing certification.
Along with making sure pollinator-safe pesticides and herbicides are used
during sprays, the spraying times are coordinated around the most active
bee times, according to UW's Hannah Johnson.
"We talked to city parks, county parks and rec, and people doing different
things around town, and they're already doing a lot of things [to promote
pollinators]," said Johnson.
Native plants and flowers that create sustainable habitats are included in
City garden plots, but this year the Keep Gillette Beautiful committee will
work to ensure even more pollinator-friendly shrubs and perennials are
included for next year's planting season.
"Our hope is we'll do more education on pollinators and pollinator-friendly
plants," Johnson added. "We're the seventeenth city in the entire U.S. to
be declared a Bee City, so that's exciting."
*Dennis and Tivis Lawrence in front of a few of their hives. h/t Anela
Local bee farmers are excited about the city embracing anything that
promotes the bee population. The Lawrence family have been producing honey
around Northeast Wyoming for 35 years, with hives from Wright to Keyhole,
Upton, and Newcastle. Their "Wyo Gold" is dependent on keeping the
pollinator population thriving.
"It's a service to all of the land that we have hives on," said Anela
Lawrence. "Pollination works wonders for... well, everything. With the bee
populations threatened, anything that can be done to help is good!"
Some of the best things to include in your home garden include echinacea,
rocky mountain penstemon, and lemon beebalm, which are perennials that are
drought or dry soil tolerant. Even some decorative grasses are beneficial
to pollinators, which include more than just bees. A full list of great
things to plant is available here
National Pollinator Week is June 20th, and the Master Gardeners are putting
together a special day to celebrate. In the meantime, to learn more about
what you can do to help, Kari Bergerman will be giving a talk at 2 p.m.
Saturday in Classroom 2 during the Master Gardener's Garden and Landscape
Expo at the Cam-Plex.
*Photo h/t Walter Bichler // Pitchengine Communities*