Bee Kind, Plant for Pollinators This Year!

(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." [image: 13230860_1087760441290497_1512572746_o.jpg] *Dennis and Tivis Lawrence in front of a few of their hives. h/t Anela Kauwe-Lawrence* 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* #county17 #news