May 21, 2024 - Climate

Detroit joins Bee City USA's pollinator preservation efforts

A "Bee City USA" sign next to a native plants garden, and a poster showing future planned improvements.

Detroit's Bee City USA plans were unveiled yesterday at the Brightmoor Pollinator Habitat. Photo: Courtesy of the city of Detroit

The city joined a national bee preservation initiative, which means expect new signs, programming and native plant gardens around Detroit.

Why it matters: More than 40% of pollinator species are on the decline due to factors like pesticides, climate change and habitat loss, according to Bee City USA. They're necessary for pollinating crops and other essential plants.

  • Bees are the primary pollinators but there are also butterflies, beetles, ants, moths and bats.

The latest: Officials announced Monday that Detroit is joining a Bee City USA initiative. The city appointed nonprofit Detroit Hives to do community engagement and host public events to educate residents about conservation, according to a news release.

How it works: Bee City USA offers a framework, brochures and other resources, as well as a list of commitments for cities to abide by as they help conserve pollinators, per its website. There are more than 200 city affiliates, with five others in Michigan: Ypsilanti city, Ypsilanti charter township, Ann Arbor, St. Joseph and Royal Oak.

  • City affiliates are expected to establish a committee with volunteers and government staffers to advocate for bee preservation. Cities with populations over 100,000 pay a $500 application fee.
  • To create pollinator habitats throughout their footprints, affiliate cities should install native plants and nesting sites. They also need to use fewer pesticides and host bee preservation events.
  • The cities should also incorporate bee conservation practices into their policies.

Go deeper: Why pollinators need help year-round, not just during "No Mow May."

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