Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
The City of Orland was proud to become affiliated with Bee City USA as the 40th member in March 2017. We promptly set up a Bee City Orland Committee with a handful of representatives from the City, the local bee industry, the Chamber of Commerce, the University of California Cooperative Extension office, and the local garden club. By May the City Council audaciously proclaimed Orland – after completing the research to verify the claim — to be “Queen Bee Capital of North America.” More queens are produced and shipped out of this place than any other, at least in North America, maybe in the world.
One of local queen producers, OHB, acquired property in town and opened “OHBee Hive” featuring a bee-themed retail goods boutique, breakfast & lunch, and a floral service. Business plans include a meadery and mead tasting room in 2018.
The City applied for a State Parks-sponsored outdoor education grant for a “Pollinator Demonstration Station” in one of the City’s parks. Grant awards pending…
Education & Outreach
The Committee got to work and accomplished much in its first nine months, including:
Posted 2’x2’ Bee City USA logo signs in town and at city hall;
Manned and information booth and larger-than-life skep at the Glenn County Fair;
Supported an award-winning bee-themed county display at the state fair;
Staffed an info booth at the OHB Hobby Day & Honeybee Festival;
Staffed an info booth at the National Night Out event in Orland;
Issued an educational press release for Pollinator Week, published by local newspapers;
Gave TV interviews which aired locally (within 60 miles);
Planned and pulled off OctoBEEfest – our first fundraiser – it was a big hit. This classy one evening event drew over a hundred paying guests and featured honey tasting, mead tasting, food, music and raffle prizes. The only complaints were “Why did it have to end so early?” and “When can we do it again?” We netted $1700 and a lot of fun.
Produced artwork for the city’s lamppost banners promoting Orland as Queen Bee Capital; banners are prominently displayed throughout town;
Hosted our first “Bee City Summit” bringing together educators, local government, and business representatives for an afternoon of productive brainstorming about ways the community can promote pollinator education;
Provided mead tastings and honey tastings at the State Fair and local apiary events as part of the Every Third Bite campaign.
The Orland Chamber of Commerce branded its monthly morning coffee get together for businesspeople as “The Morning Buzz.”
To finish off the year, the Orland Garden Club entered a Christmas tree into the annual “North Pole” display of trees, this one featuring… you guessed it – handmade bees!
Local Website & Contact Information
We used the City’s Facebook page to promote local pollinator education and events. We also purchased a website (www.queenbeecapital.org) and began building it – but it’s not ready to launch yet.