By Associated Press - Sunday, August 23, 2020

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia city wants recognition for its efforts to lure bees.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday that city officials in Dawsonville about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta are supporting an effort to obtain the title, “Bee City USA.” The Dawson County Women’s Club is set to submit an application for the designation.

It recognizes a city’s work to attract, protect and inspire appreciation of bees and other pollinators. It is an initiative of the Xerces Society, a nonprofit that aims to protect invertebrates and their habitats.

The AJC reports that Dawsonville’s City Hall complex has several new garden beds that have a variety of wildflowers used by pollinators. Numerous other Georgia cities have the “Bee City USA” designation, including Atlanta and Decatur, according to the newspaper.

Bees have been on the decline for more than a decade across the globe, and scientists have blamed a range of factors including insecticides called neonicotinoids, parasites, disease, climate change and lack of a diverse food supply. Bees are critical pollinators, and about a third of the human diet comes from plants that are pollinated by insects.

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