Revelstoke has been designated Canada’s 41st Bee City.
Becoming a Bee City allows the city and the community to formalize the commitment to the environment and celebrate collective efforts.
“The Revelstoke application was outstanding on all counts and we are thrilled to welcome Revelstoke into the family of Bee Cities across Canada,” said Shelly Candel, director of Bee City Canada, in a news release. “The movement is growing, and Canadians everywhere are alarmed by the pollinator decline and are deciding to take action.”
The Bee City designation is a long-term commitment to protect pollinators and is awarded to cities, towns, townships, municipalities, schools, campuses, businesses, and organizations that publicly declare to protect pollinators and their habitat through coordinated and collaborative actions that align with the Bee City program.
Revelstoke’s application was completed in collaboration with Community Connections, Local Food Initiative Society, Columbia Mountain Institute, North Columbia Environmental Society and the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society.
“It has become very clear in recent years how critically important pollinators are to our food system, and that human actions can have dramatic effects on the variety of species that perform pollination services,” said Melissa Hemphill, food security coordinator for the city, in a news release. “I was surprised to learn that there are over 250 species of wild bees in the Revelstoke area, with many more species still unidentified.”
With the pandemic shining a spotlight on Revelstoke’s food system and its fragility, pollinator health and diversity is one of the many factors that local food production depends on, Hemphill added.
“By working together, the groups involved in this initiative can step into action to protect pollinators and enhance their habitat throughout our community,” she said.
A Bee City pollinator team will be put together to support collaboration and establish a healthy pollinator habitat within the city. The team will raise awareness of pollinator diversity and the benefits of using native plants in habitat restoration.