In 2020, City Council and Mayor Fleetwood signed a resolution designating Bellingham a Bee City USA. As a Bee City USA, the City of Bellingham is committed to protecting and expanding pollinator habitat and implementing a bee-safe integrated pest management (IPM) plan on all public spaces.
What is a Bee City USA?
The United States is home to over 3,600 native bee species, as well as introduced species such as the honeybee. Bees are very effective pollinators, locally bees are crucial to Whatcom County’s berry industry. In recent decades, bee populations have been in steep decline due to habitat loss and the wide-spread use of pesticides; up to 40% of pollinator species are at risk of extension due to human impacts. Cities across the United States are becoming Bee City USA affiliates. Bee City USA affiliates pledge to conserve native pollinators by increasing native plants, providing nesting sites and reducing the use of pesticides.
As a Bee City USA affiliate, Bellingham has pledged to create and expand pollinator-friendly habitat and adopt an integrated pest management (IPM) plan designed to prevent pest problems, reduce pesticide use and expand the use of non-chemical pest management methods. These pledges will be reflected in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
How You Can Help
There are two main ways every citizen in Bellingham can help protect native bees: increase bee habitat and decrease or stop using pesticides.
Increase Pollinator Habitat
Whether you own your own home or rent; all residents are invited to increase bee habitat through planting native plants.
You can join a restoration work party at a nearby park or restoration site, no experience is required! View City of Bellingham’s work party schedule for upcoming volunteer opportunities. Plant native plants at home, here is a guide to native plants that attract bees.
Plant native plants at home, here is a guide to native plants that attract bees. There is also a printable booklet version.
Reduce Pesticide Application
Unwanted plants, insects, microbes and animals are often killed or deterred with the use of pesticide (pesticides is an umbrella term for herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and rodent poison). Noenicotinoid, a primary chemical in many pesticides contributes to Colony Collapse Disorder. Through an integrated pest management plan, it is possible to control pests without the use of chemicals.
Think twice before using insecticides, most insects that visit your garden are beneficial insects. Learn more about the pollinators that visit your garden from Washington State University and Xerces Society. If you choose to use insecticides, make sure they DO NOT contain neonicotinoids.
Eliminate herbicides at home and manage weeds naturally; chemical-free yards are good for kids, pets, and native animals and insects.
Annual Report on Bee Habitat
2021 annual report under development.
- Resolution No 2020-36 – Designating Bellingham as a Bee City USA affiliate
- City of Bellingham Parks Volunteer Program
- Guide to Native Plants that Attract Bees
- Bee City USA
- Xerces Society
- Washington State University – Beneficial Wildlife
- Backyard Habitat
- Washington Native Plant Society
- Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Public Works Natural Resources
Public Works Contacts