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James McDonald, right, owner of Encinitas Bee Company, helps Encinitas resident Wes Leffingwell inspect his frame of bees kept outside his home. Photo by Sean Buffini
James McDonald, right, owner of Encinitas Bee Company, helps Encinitas resident Wes Leffingwell inspect his frame of bees kept outside his home. Photo by Sean Buffini
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Encinitas poised to become Bee City USA affiliate

ENCINITAS — The city of Encinitas is poised to become a certified bee-friendly city by joining a nationwide initiative to protect local pollinators and further conservation efforts.

Last month, the Encinitas City Council voted to complete a sample resolution to become an affiliate of Bee City USA, an endeavor of the Xerces Society, which promotes invertebrate conservation efforts across the country.

As part of the designation, member cities are asked to increase native plants, provide more bee nesting sites, host pollinator awareness events and manage use of pesticides to help conserve and protect the more than 3,600 species of native bees nationwide. 

Council members Kellie Hinze and Joy Lyndes on Nov. 9 brought forward the sample resolution and plan to return with a final draft for adoption. The resolution proposes the following:

— Establish a standing Bee City USA committee to advocate for pollinators;

— Create and enhance pollinator habitat on public and private land by increasing the abundance of native plants and nest sites;

— Consider use of pesticides;

— Incorporate pollinator-conscious practices into city policies and plans;

— Host pollinator awareness events;

— Publicly acknowledge Bee City USA Affiliation with signs and an online presence;

— Pay an initial application fee and annual renewal fee;

— Apply annually for renewal and report on previous year’s activities.

Inge Bisconer, a Cardiff resident in support of the city’s proposal, said it’s important the council follows through with its commitment. 

“I support Encinitas forming a committee of city staff, citizen representatives and local experts to carry out Bee City commitments (because) bees are incredibly important to human society because they pollinate flowering plants, and they are in serious decline,” Bisconer said. 

Rose Hogling, an employee of the Encinitas Bee Company, supports the city becoming an affiliate of Bee City USA, and describes the importance of making sure the pollinator population is healthy.

“Without pollinators, ecosystems collapse,” Hogling said. “Pollination is crucial to the biodiversity and resiliency of our ecological communities.”

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