At the confluence of the Columbia and Illecillewaet Rivers, nestled between the Monashee and Selkirk Mountains, and neighbouring two National Mountain Parks, Revelstoke is a community deeply seated in nature. Bees and other pollinators are key to the natural magic of this place.
Through the collaboration of non-profit societies and the municipal government we strive to protect our natural spaces and educate both residents and visitors of how they can protect and enhance our important pollinators. Becoming a Bee City allows us to formalize our commitment to the environment and celebrate our efforts.
Bee City has met on a monthly basis to discuss initiatives, events, and goals of the group. We find it challenging to find a time that fits everyone’s needs, as for most of our members, this is a side project. The Revelstoke Local Food Initiative is active in spreading pollinator awareness, along with providing education on plants, native species, and best growing practices for your own yard. Bee Kind Bees (Ron Glave) is constantly increasing his colony numbers, as well as hosting educational classes and camps regarding beekeeping. Ron has been in contact with multiple businesses including Cabot Revelstoke in assisting with pollinator friendly landscape methods. He remains passionate about increasing pollinator space. We are finding the group would benefit from more community engagement, and we look forward to pursuing new team members from different sections of the community.
The Bee City Revelstoke team has met every other month to discuss initiatives and receive updates from each of our team members. We have had a couple new people join, and fresh ideas for how Bee City can be promoted in our town. We struggled to find meeting times that suited everyone, but Zoom helped with this, allowing members to join from wherever they were at.
We applied and received a $2000 grant, which was put towards ‘Pollinator-Friendly’ yard signs for public use. One of the qualifications to host a sign on your yard is not to be using any pesticides. The members who make up the Bee City team are involved in active community presence in minimizing pesticide use.
Much like the rest of the country, the Bee City Revelstoke team has been challenged by COVID-19 as it impacted the delivery and acceptance of many programs linked to pollinator awareness. We have continued to meet through zoom on a quarterly basis, with extra meetings as we prepared for summer. We have visions as to new projects, but have felt quite limited due to funding, and the capacity to complete grant applications that are applicable to Bee City initiatives. We have also struggled with capacity and commitment among the community members making up our team. It’s been a challenge to find a time and day that work for everyone. From the minimal social media attention Bee City Revelstoke has had, there seems to be a good response from the community. Our neighbors are excited to learn more about bees, how we can practically care for them, and protecting them for years to come.