‘Congrats’ to Orillia for Becoming the Next ‘Bee City,’ as Award Ceremony Approaches on June 24

This bumble bee photo taken by Severn Township Bee City advocate Matt Thomson illustrates the delicate pollinating process that keeps the food cycle intact.

City proclamation declares 17th through
the 23rd of June as National Bee City Week

By Awakening News staff

ORILLIA, ONTARIO—In the wake of Orillia having been named a Bee City in the urgent ongoing effort to protect and restore the world’s pollinators, Bee Cities Canada leader Shelly Candel will officially award Orillia its “Bee City” designation at City Hall on Monday, June 24 during a City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. with the award presented at some point during the proceedings.

Awakening News will be there. Furthermore, Severn Township will receive its Bee City designation at noon on the same day.

The municipality of Severn was named a Bee City in May, as Awakening News reported here.

And as Awakening News first reported, Barrie is well on its way to becoming a neighboring Bee City. Barrie Councillor Mike McCann recently brought a Bee City motion forward.  The city hopes to officially submit its application by latter June.

There is a third Bee City event on Monday, June 24 at Orillia Secondary High School. Candel will give a presentation to students to inform them of the threats to pollinators and urge them to help spread the word about solutions, regarding an issue that the Awakening News editorial staff believes should cross all party lines at the provincial and federal levels.

A coordinated effort by Candel, fellow Bee City activist Jeannine Hutty, Severn Township gardener and Bee City booster Matt Thomson and the Awakening News paved the way for expanding the number of Bee Cities in Ontario and beyond, well before mainstream media reported on it substantively.

The main local conventional news account on Orillia’s new Bee City designation was published by CTV on June 17. The 198-word article quoted Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke as saying that becoming a Bee City was a no-brainer.

“Who would have thought that a bunch of insects are so vital to our existence?” Clarke told CTV.

Notably, Hutty, as reported here by Awakening News, received an award at the Orillia Sunshine Initiative Awards event on the evening of May 9, 2019 for helping spearhead the local Bee Cities movement. Her efforts earned first prize in the People’s Choice category.

Meanwhile, Candel has given local speeches on the movement to save pollinators, including to the local Fish & Game Conservation Club. The same goes for John Devine, Awakening News associate editor, who recently addressed this crucial issue to the local Horticultural Society.

Canada has some 28 Bee City municipalities. Orillia, Severn (and soon-to-be) Barrie join Newmarket, Mono and Kawartha Lakes are just some of the immediate region’s Bee Cities.

“Many of our bee species are dying off,” Hutty told CTV, adding: “In part, from people using chemical treatments on lawns, and on their gardens to get rid of pests.”

“Back on March 19, the mayor of Orillia signed a proclamation declaring the 17th through the 23rd of June as National Bee City Week,” Hutty told Awakening News. “And John Devine put ‘the bee in the bonnet’ speaking to the National Horticultural Society about the National Butterfly Center [a natural habitat for migrating pollinators in south Texas] and the threat to it by Trump’s border wall.”

This is Orillia’s proclamation issued in March 2019 to establish the city’s involvement in National Bee City Week. (Photo by Jeannine Hutty)

The Awakening News urges all readers to contact federal party leaders and urge them to put party differences aside and address the issue of pollinator decline (bees, butterflies etc.)—a decline linked to agricultural chemicals and other possible causes, including the electromagnetic field from the communications grid, with the pending “5G” upgrade raising serious concerns in some quarters as to how the upgrade will affect human health as well the health of pollinators.

This article represents the 15th online report on the pollinator issue that Awakening News has published since December of 2018. Here are earlier sample letters from Awakening News to provide ideas on writing to Members of Parliament about pollinators. Watch for more of such efforts soon.