The buzz about America’s “bee-friendly” cities

Happy bees at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta in 2021

Communities representing 37 states and the District of Columbia are listed beelow as designated “Bee City USA” members. Unfortunately, there are also 13 states without any city members including Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Utah.


Most astonishing of these states without participant communities are Utah given its nickname is “The Beehive State” and the inclusion of a beehive on its state flag, as well as North Dakota, which was the number one honey producing state in the nation in 2021! All 13 states without a Bee City USA have important agricultural products grown there which beenefit from bees and bee pollination.


On the flip side, the following states lead the way with communities included on the Bee City USA list:

North Carolina = 21

Georgia = 15

Maryland = 10

Ohio, Texas, and Virginia = 9 each

Oregon = 8

“Pollinators are keystone species in essentially every ecosystem on earth, enabling the reproduction of over 85% of all flowering plants and 67% of agricultural crops (bold emphasis added). In addition to the well known honey bee, a species brought to the United States from Europe, there are more than 20,000 described species of bees globally, and around 3,600 species of bees native to the United States.” 


The following requirements must bee met to bee designated a Bee City, USA:

  • 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 providing nest sites.
  • Reduce the use of pesticides.
  • Incorporate pollinator-conscious practices into city policies and plans.
  • Pay an initial application fee and annual renewal fee.
  • Host pollinator awareness events.
  • Publicly acknowledge Bee City USA affiliation with signs and an online presence (see Albuquerque’s page below).
  • Annually apply for renewal and report on the previous year’s activities.
Screen shot of Albuquerque’s Bee City USA webpage – Source:

So, what as city, rural, or regional planners can we do to help protect pollinators? Well, beyond advocating for our community become a member of Bee City USA, the following are some of the options to consider:

  • Include language in your master plan, zoning ordinance, and parks plan which strives to protect pollinators, such as bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
  • Review existing text in these same documents/ordinances for ways to beetter protect pollinators.
  • Include standards in your landscaping requirements that protect pollinators and reduce chemical usage.
  • Work with area garden clubs, master gardeners, agricultural organizations [such as Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4H], and community gardeners to help educate the public on the importance of reducing pesticide and herbicide usage for protecting pollinators.
  • Speak to schools (at all levels), clubs, churches, and other organizations.
  • Provide bee-friendly information on the community website.
  • Bee proactive in support of bees and other pollinators.
  • If your state allows it, consider a local ban on certain pesticides and/or herbicides which harm pollinators.

If you do not see your community on the list beelow, consider giving them a call or emailing them to voice your support for having it designated a “Bee City USA.” Your local bees/pollinators, plants, wildlife, and environment will bee thankful, as will our climate and planet. Remember to bee kind, bee smart, and bee a champion in supporting our bee populations. Peace!


  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Allentown Borough, NJ
  • Amesville, OH
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Annapolis, MD
  • Apex, NC
  • Appleton, WI
  • Arlington, TX
  • Asheville, NC – first Bee City USA in 2012
  • Ashland, OR
  • Athens, OH
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Barrington Hills, IL
  • Beaumont, TX
  • Bee Cave, TX
  • Beeville, TX
  • Bell Buckle, TN
  • Bellevue, NE
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Belmont, NC
  • Berlin, MD
  • Berwyn Heights, MD
  • Bethania, NC
  • Boone, NC
  • Buda, TX
  • Buena Vista, NJ
  • Burlington, VT
  • Canon, GA
  • Cape Carteret, NC
  • Carrboro, NC
  • Carson City, NV
  • Charleston, SC
  • Chattahoochee Hills, GA
  • Clarkson, KY
  • College Park, MD
  • Columbus, IN
  • Council Bluffs, IA
  • Crestwood, MO
  • Davidson, NC
  • Dawsonville, GA
  • Decatur, GA
  • Denton, TX
  • Dunwoody, GA
  • Durham, NC
  • Durham, NH
  • Elm Grove, WI
  • Englewood, CO
  • Eugene, OR
  • Eureka Springs, AR
  • Fauquier County, VA
  • Florence, SC
  • Forsyth, MO
  • Fort Bragg, CA
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Galena, OH
  • Garden City, ID
  • Garner, NC
  • Gastonia, NC
  • Gillette, WY
  • Gloucester County, VA
  • Gold Hill, OR
  • Grapevine, TX
  • Greenbelt, MD
  • Greenfield, WI
  • Greenwood, SC
  • Hahira, GA
  • Hales Corner, WI
  • Hampton, VA
  • Havre de Grace, MD
  • Hawthorn Woods, IL
  • Hayesville, NC
  • Hendersonville, NC
  • Highlands, NC
  • Hillsboro, OR
  • Hillsborough, NC
  • Howard County, MD
  • Jefferson, GA
  • Keene, NH
  • Lake City, SC
  • Laurel, MD
  • Laurel Park, NC
  • Lexington, MA
  • Lincoln County, ID
  • Lithopolis, OH
  • Lookout Mountain, GA
  • Lookout Mountain, TN
  • Louisville, CO
  • Lynchburg, VA
  • Madison, WI
  • Manassas, VA
  • Martinsville, VA
  • Matthews, NC
  • Medford, OR
  • Media, PA
  • Mequon, WI,
  • Middletown, MD
  • Moorestown Township, NJ
  • Moscow, ID
  • Mount Holly, NC
  • Mount Vernon, IA
  • Mount Vernon, OH
  • Mountain Brook, AL
  • Mountain Home, ID
  • Mountain View, AR
  • New Castle, NY
  • Newport, OR
  • Newport News, VA
  • Norcross, GA
  • Olympia, WA
  • Orland, CA
  • Phoenix, OR
  • Pine Grove, PA
  • Pine Lake, GA
  • Pittman Center, TN
  • Port Barrington, IL
  • Puyallup, WA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Red Lodge, MT
  • Redding, CA
  • Reno, NV
  • Ridgewood, NJ
  • River Falls, WI
  • Rome, GA
  • Round Rock, TX
  • Rowlett, TX
  • Royal Oak, MI
  • Salem, OH
  • Salisbury, MD
  • Sammamish WA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Sandy, OR
  • Sandy Springs, GA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Scottsville, VA
  • Seaside, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Shelby, OH
  • Shoshone, ID
  • Snowshoe, WV
  • Southport, NC
  • Talent, OR
  • Thompson’s Station, TN
  • Thousand Oaks, CA
  • Tualatin, OR
  • Twin Falls, ID
  • Tyler, TX
  • Vandalia, OH
  • Vienna, VA
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Warner Robins, GA
  • Washington, DC
  • Webster, FL
  • Wellington, OH
  • West Linn, OR
  • Westminster, CO
  • Westminster, MD
  • Westover, WV
  • Whiteville, NC
  • Wichita, KS
  • Williamstown, WV
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Wilsonville, OR
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Woodland, CA
  • Woodstock, GA
  • Woodstock, VA
  • Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
  • Ypsilanti, MI
  • Ypsilanti Township, MI

Here are some weblinks to organizations who are working to protect pollinators:

If you are interested in learning more on this topic, here are a few book options available thought*

*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using the above link to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


This entry was posted in Advocacy, agriculture, Animal rights, Animals, cities, civics, civility, climate, climate change, culture, ecosystems, education, environment, Food, government, health, insects, land use, landscape architecture, natural and organic foods, natural history, nature, planning, Science, seasons, spatial design, States, Statistics, sustainability, tourism, Travel, urban planning, water, water conservation, Wilderness, Wildlife, xeriscaping, zoning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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