The buzz in Scottsville, the state’s first Bee City

Scottsville Supply Company co-owner Heather Stertzer inspects a honey bee colony. Photo courtesy of Heather Stertzer Scottsville Supply Company co-owner Heather Stertzer inspects a honey bee colony. Photo courtesy of Heather Stertzer

One in every three bites of food we take has been touched by a pollinator. And Scottsville—recently the first town in Virginia to become a Bee City—is sharing the buzz on the role pollinators play in the community.

On June 24, during National Pollinator Week, Scottsville will host its first pollinator celebration in which, among other activities, local beekeeper and business owner Heather Stertzer will answer questions after a screening of More Than Honey, a documentary about the world’s declining bee population.

To get an official designation from Bee City USA, municipalities must commit to create sustainable habitats. To comply, Scottsville leaders have sourced pollinator-friendly flowers from an organic nursery for the butterfly garden in the 100 block of Main Street, and Mayor Nancy Gill has prompted employees to use organic sprays during maintenance. The Scottsville Center for Arts and Nature currently hosts two honeybee colonies and is working on a long-term plan for potentially housing more in the future.

Stertzer, who opened Scottsville Supply Company with her wife in November 2015, says one of their goals is to increase the success rate of area colonies through specialized beekeeping classes.

“Bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects are part of the ecosystem, so if we fall out of balance with one, the ripple effect will cause a larger problem,” she says. “I see bees as an example of the larger picture for our environment. Bugs are a good pulse for our planet.”

Bee-lieve it or not, Stertzer says she loves her hobby because of the calming effect it has on her. “After years of stressful jobs, including law enforcement and deployments while in the Army National Guard, I find it relaxing to be surrounded by thousands of bees. Seems a bit odd after saying it.”

Search 1st Annual Scottsville Pollinator Celebration on Facebook for a full list of activities.

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