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Boulder Group Pushes For City To Become 'Bee Safe'

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - The Boulder group behind Colorado's first Bee Safe Neighborhood is hoping to make the whole city bee friendly.

David Wheeler is one of several residents who started Bee Safe Boulder, and he's urging community members to stop using systemic pesticides in the landscaping and gardens on their property.

"Bees are the canary in the coal mine," said Wheeler during a meeting of the group on Wednesday night. "If the bees are dying that tells us that our environment is toxic and we need to change that."

David Wheeler
David Wheeler (credit: CBS)

While chemical manufacturers argue their products are safe, those in the Bee Safe movement across the country believe they are responsible for killing bee colonies at an alarming rate.

Nearly 500 households in Boulder and more than a dozen business owners have already pledged to Bee Safe. And Wheeler says the level of support the group has received so far has prompted him to think bigger and take the proposal to the city.

"This resolution is simply asking that the citizens of Boulder practice bee safe gardening and lawn care and that the city itself will not use neonicotinoids in their city landscapes, which includes parks," he told CBS4.

Bee Safe Neighborhood
(credit: CBS)

Boulder city officials say they recognize the risks, but in a statement they said in part "... it is a complex issue and there are times when the city's pesticide reduction goals conflict with other goals."

Officials said they are now looking at what, if any, action they can take. The city planning department will put together a report and present its recommendations to the Boulder City Council on how to move forward in the spring.

Several cities across the country have resolutions similar to the one being proposed in Boulder. Denver is one of them.

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