AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may one day notice more bees buzzing around Austin.
City council unanimously voted to designate Austin as a Bee City USA affiliate. The designation means staff members will work to improve bee pollinator habitats and educate the community about the importance of these pollinators.
Bees are responsible for keeping 75% of our major crops growing. They help pollinate most of your favorite foods and plants around the world.
Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes wore “bee ears” showing support for the initiative. Several talked at Thursday’s meeting in favor of expanding bee communities.
Among them was Erika Thompson, an Austin beekeeper with a large following on the social media platform TikTok.
“I’ve watched as more move to Austin … wildlife habitats become fewer … leaves bees struggling to find food and homes. We’ll be able to protect bees and other essential pollinators,” said Thompson.
As a part of Bee City, some changes the city will implement include Austin evaluating its use of pesticides and ways to reduce them, as well as seeing more pollinator-friendly habitats and more milkweed.
You would also see “Bee City USA” street signs around the city.
City Manager Spencer Cronk will update the city council in June on how far he’s gotten in these efforts.