City of Tyler encourages residents to ‘bee’ mindful this Spring

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Spring is here and plants are beginning to bloom, attracting certain pollinators to come out of their hives. KLTV 7′s Kristine Guevara spoke with the Tyler Bee Committee about their efforts to educated East Texans on sustaining bees this season.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than one-third of all crop production requires insect pollination. And bees are the primary pollinators, making them a vital part of food sourcing.

“Without bees, you know you’re going to miss out on a lot of foods that you like. Even in the cattle industry, cows eat alfalfa and clover and those have to be pollinated,” said Erin Garner, community coordinator for Keep Tyler Beautiful.

Through the nonprofit organization Bee City USA, the City of Tyler is encouraging East Texans to make conscious choices this Spring.

“Whether it’s your purchasing of plants your going to have in your landscape or how often you mow things like that. It really can make a huge impact on not only food sources for bees but their nesting areas,” Garner said.

Garner noted that even certain pesticides can be harmful to pollinators.

“So looking at alternative sources of pesticides, natural pesticides or pesticides that are created that are pollinator friendly,” she said.

Just a few years ago, the City of Tyler installed a nesting habitat at the Tyler Rose garden as an educational standpoint. Though at this time, the hive is under maintenance.

“Our bees currently, they have to overwinter. They can’t stay out here when it’s cold. But our new hive, we are hoping our bees will be able to overwinter there so they’ll never have to leave us again,” Garner said.