We’re used to hearing the narrative that our bees are dying. While that might be true in other places around the world, it’s not the case in Boulder. Dr. Adrian Carper, Postdoctoral Associate at CU Boulder, says that there are over 500 species of bees in Boulder alone. That number can be largely attributed to the city’s vast open and green spaces that are full of diverse food and shelter for our pollinators. However, it’s the rise in citizen activism that makes Colorado the leading state in the protection of pollinators. Events like the Colorado Honey Festival are great ways to open the conversation to conservation.
“Through that kind of citizen to citizen interaction you can really reach thousands and thousands of people and really spread the message of the importance of bees and why they should care.” Carper said.
Lana Auten, owner of “Ain’t Miss Beehaiving”, attended the Colorado Honey Festival to spread her love for pollinators. Auten sells products from honey scones to bee tutus, with a portion of all profits going towards a charity called “Bee Cause”, which puts hives in schools.
“Let’s teach our kids how important these bees are and maybe the stigma against them will lessen and we’ll work more at planting pollinator gardens and eliminating pesticides that kill our bees and so on.” Auten said.
People like Auten are a part of a growing culture of bee protectors in Colorado. With education comes activism, and people know that losing our bees would mean dark days for our agriculture. However, the future is looking bright.
“I think that we’ve come out of a dark place. And while there are still reasons to be concerned and keep that forward momentum, I think the momentum is absolutely moving forward and in a positive.” Auten said.
If one thing is clear, it’s that bees are thriving in Boulder.