The Sunshine City is buzzing after officially being named Bee City.

The initiative was brought to Orillia’s city council by Jeannine Hutty with the purpose to help protect pollinators.

“Many of our bee species are dying off,” explains Hutty, the Orillia Bee City Steward. “In part, from people using chemical treatments on lawns, and on their gardens to get rid of pests.”

Orillia joins Severn, Newmarket, Mono and Kawartha Lakes as just some of the Bee Cities across the region.

Orillia’s Mayor, Steve Clarke, says the campaign was a no-brainer. “Who would have thought that a bunch of insects are so vital to our existence?”

The city has more than 70 annual and perennial gardens, along with over 140 hanging flower baskets throughout the downtown.

“I want to see more of that, and I want to see more people get involved in the project,” says Hutty. “I hope to see more cities become Bee Cities as well.”

Barrie is currently working on becoming a Bee City after Councillor Mike McCann brought forward the motion. The city hopes to have its application completed and submitted within the next week.

There are 28 municipalities across Canadian designated as Bee Cities.