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Happy National Honeybee Day!

Welcome to the National Honeybee Day release of the FRB blog! Today we will be looking at all the wonderful contributions Colorado has made to the fight for honeybees in this country.

Colorado has always been an environmental steward in the United States, and this has been no less true when it comes to forming legislation for our critical pollinators. In recognition of National Honeybee Day, we want to share with you the amazing things Colorado has contributed to honeybees and pollinators in their efforts to bolster the nation’s ecosystems!

One of the greatest, and most recent, accomplishments Colorado has made in the realm of pollinators is an act passed in 2020 authorizing local governments to regulate pesticide use and application. SB20-189 repealed former legislation that prohibited local governments from regulating pesticide use, so even if they wanted to restrict their use counties could not override state rulings. Now, with this bill passed, restrictions on pesticides can be authorized on a county level, ensuring that those who want to restrict pesticide use can do so.

In 2017 governors Hickenlooper and Polis designated June as Colorado Pollinator month, and the trend has continued through the years since. While it may not be a well known month, many important events and fundraising campaigns take place during this time. These events are critical for funding efforts to save the bees.

Another major natural renovation Colorado has instituted is creating pollinator highways. In 2017 I-76 was designated as Colorado’s first pollinator highway, and this year (2021) Highway 119 was designated as one as well!

These highways are converted into natural pollination corridors by planting native flora along the sides of the road, providing forage for pollinators for several miles. These corridors will naturally reproduce and continue to bolster the native flora populations in the Colorado ecosystem, further contributing to pollinators not only in the state but across the country! As migrating pollinators, like monarch butterflies, move through Colorado they will utilize these pollinator highways just as much as the locals.

The design of the new pollinator support license plate

A bill was just recently passed this year, as well, funding the Colorado Department of Transportation to release a pollinator support license plate. All the proceeds from purchases of this Colorado license plate will go to funding programs that protect pollinators, create habitat and forage protect the critical role that pollinators play in sustaining our agricultural and natural ecosystems.

We at Free Range Beehives wish you all a happy National Honeybee Day, and hope you thank your native pollinators for all that they do for you in your everyday life!

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