Town of Tabor City Becomes the 52nd Bee City USA in the Nation

The Town Council of the Town of Tabor City in Tabor City, North Carolina, on June 13, 2017 voted unanimously to become a Bee City USA®. This completed the efforts of the Town of Tabor City and its committee, Tabor City Buzz, to accomplish this certification. Rachel Todd, chairperson of Tabor City Buzz, made the presentation to the Town Council members. The Town of Tabor City has designated Tabor City Buzz and it committee members as the facilitating committee for Tabor City’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator-friendliness.

Bee City USA is a nonprofit national organization that galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Imperiled pollinators like honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies, moths, bats, hummingbirds, and others are responsible for the reproduction of ninety percent of the world’s wild plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.

Mayor Royce Harper said, “Our Town Council let it be known that we understand the importance of sustaining pollinators, and want to make the city more pollinator-friendly. We are grateful to Rachel Todd for bringing the opportunity to our attention.”

According to Dianne Nobles Ward, Promotions Director of the Town of Tabor City, during the process of applying for the certification, a number of organizations were brought into the discussions including the Tabor City Girl Scout Troop 599, North Carolina State University working through our North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office, the Columbus County Bee Association and the Tabor City Dirt Daubers Garden Club.

Bee City USA founder and director, Phyllis Stiles, said, “The program aspires to make people more PC (“pollinator conscious,” that is). If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will create large-scale change for thousands of species of pollinators at risk. How each city or county celebrates pollinators is up to them, but we especially encourage educational programs for children, like school gardens. When a child falls in love with pollinators, they are friends for life.”

Al Leonard, Town Manager, said, “Tabor City is an ideal candidate for certification because we have an agriculture history in Tabor City and most of our citizens are aware of and know the importance of bees to farming.”

A designated Bee City USA is expected to annually celebrate being a Bee City USA community with a proclamation and public awareness activities; publicly acknowledge commitment to the program through signage and web links; and annually report activities to Bee City USA to renew the certification.

The Tabor City Buzz committee will begin their meetings in August. Chairperson Rachel Todd will be notifying and inviting all residents of Tabor City to a meeting in the September timeframe to offer their ideas for pollinator-friendly initiatives. The more people and organizations involved, the sooner pollinator declines will be reversed.

For more information about the Bee City USA organization visit or email Director Phyllis Stiles at  For more information about the Town of Tabor City Bee City USA program, contact Rachel Todd at 843-504-5306 or email her at


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