Honey bees (and the Monarch butterfly) in Idaho officially have a place to go where they will be welcomed with open arms. Earlier this week, the city of Twin Falls, ID announced it is officially part of the Bee City USA and Monarch City USA (which protects the Monarch butterfly) programs to help protect our pollinators and butterflies. The new edict will help both protect honey bees as well as educating local citizens on the importance of the honey bee to our society and well-being.
Helping the Pollinators
Magic Valley Beekeepers representative Sherry Olsen-Frank was delighted about the new status of her community. She stated, “Every third bite of food that we eat is because of a pollinator. Becoming a Bee City USA will just help pollinators and bring more education focus on the importance of our pollinators.”
This designation is not just a plaque and some handshaking, either. Any city that applies to these programs must meet certain criteria set to help promote sustainability for pollinators. Among the criteria are establishing an undisturbed habitat that can serve as a home and feeding zone while at the same time being completely free of harmful pesticides. With most recent surveys estimated a declining population of 44 percent, creating these “safe zones” for the honey bees will go a long way to ensuring next year is a far better year for our pollinators.
According to Olsen-Frank, leadership within the beekeeping community will now also be involved in city leadership. She stated that come early 2020, representatives from the pollinator communities will start to attend and be very involved in local city council meetings. Together with the city council, local events will be held by the pollinator community to educate local residents on the importance of pollinators to our future.
This is a huge honor for Twin Falls, as it is only the second city in the state to earn approval from both Bee City USA and Monarch City USA. At this time, only Mountain Home holds the same designations. The mayor of Twin Falls, Shawn Barigar, has embraced this movement fully and expects his city to set the tone when it comes to protecting honey bees and other pollinators.
To learn more about Bee City USA, click here. To learn more about Monarch City USA, click here. And, if you would like to learn more about or try some of the best honey you will ever taste, click here. By the way, if you order more than $150, shipping is on us!