City Beat

Sacramento wants to become a “bee haven”

Barry Olmstead, 48, is a beekeeper from Elk Grove and with his son, Joshua, started the Save the Bee Foundationa and want to apply for a grant of up to $10 million to study Colony Collapse Disorder, which is killing off the bees. He's happy that Congress included $150 million in the stimulus bill for beekeepers and notes that a third of the world's produce is pollinated by bees.
Barry Olmstead, 48, is a beekeeper from Elk Grove and with his son, Joshua, started the Save the Bee Foundationa and want to apply for a grant of up to $10 million to study Colony Collapse Disorder, which is killing off the bees. He's happy that Congress included $150 million in the stimulus bill for beekeepers and notes that a third of the world's produce is pollinated by bees. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Sacramento is going to the bees.

The City Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution to make the city a “Honey Bee Haven,” a place where bees are protected from pesticides, are provided year-round clean food and water and given shelter. It also means the city will appear on honeybeehaven.org.

Councilman Jay Schenirer is the person behind this effort.

Here’s why he’s doing it, according to a city staff report: The bee population has been declining by as much as 36 percent a year since 2006. Bees pollinate a lot of the food we grow, meaning “the variety and nutritional value of our food system is threatened.”

And then there’s this: the decline in the bee population “points to and will likely accelerate broader environmental degradation in a kind of ripple effect which should not be ignored.”

And so Sacramento is doing something about it.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at www.sacbee.com/citybeat.

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