Local organization helps Carson City protect the bees.
Written by Heidi Bethel
Illustration by Sophia Pappas
Albert Einstein is often credited for having said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
With bee ecosystems collapsing at an alarming rate, this prediction could soon become a real possibility. Protecting bees and creating a healthy environment for honey bees and other pollinators are the main objectives for Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada, which works to conserve the bee population by placing hives strategically and promoting bee health, as well as helping Carson City become a Bee City USA.
“In our world of speeding things up and getting rich quick, we’ve created unhealthy practices that are killing off the bee population,” explains Gillian Mellor, former chairperson of Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada. “This is a worldwide problem, but we can start fixing it by avoiding the use of pesticides and promoting hives in our area.”
Becoming a Bee City USA
In October 2018, Carson City was designated the 76th Bee City USA by The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitats, rich in a variety of native plants and nearly to totally free of pesticides.
Mellor explains that, in addition to enriching their habitat, community members need to know how to help bees thrive.
“Education — that’s what it’s all about. We have to educate our young people to respect and look after our environment,” she adds. “It starts with little kids. The Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada goes to the schools with entertaining shows and demonstrations and honey tastings, and our master beekeepers dress up like bees. Becoming a Bee City USA is all about educating the public in a fun and informative way.”
Through its commitment to being a Bee City USA, Carson City leaders will promote a sustainable pollinator habitat so that the bee population will continue to advance and benefit generations to come.
Heidi Bethel appreciates the work required to bring issues affecting our ecosystem to the forefront and take action to make a difference. She commends the Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada for its efforts in preserving the local bee community.
Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada
Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada meets on the fourth Monday of each month (excluding December) at 6:30 p.m. in the Bee Magic Building, 44 Hwy. 341 in Mound House. All are welcome.