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Rapid City is first Bee City USA affiliate in South Dakota

 Close up of a bee near its hive in Rapid City.
Close up of a bee near its hive in Rapid City. (KOTA)
Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 10:05 PM CST
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Rapid City is the first city in South Dakota to become a Bee City USA affiliate.

With more than 100 bee cities across the United States, this designation means Rapid City has committed to protecting native pollinators like bees.

"Even though the bees might be in trouble, I think with the dedication and the education that is now getting put into beekeeping, I would hope within the next decade we'll be able to turn that around," said Tim Moran, beekeeper in Rapid City.

Beekeepers are happy with the city becoming the first Bee City USA affiliate in South Dakota.

"We're really excited, it's been a pretty new thing for us, it was recently brought up by someone in the community and we thought, hey that's a perfect fit for us," said Melissa Petersen, landscape designer for the city of Rapid City.

Various pollinator habitats exist in Rapid City including some in Founders Park, and more habitats will be added.

"We are looking at expanding that habitat to other areas in the Greenway,we have about 20 acres that are under consideration, not that all of that would be pollinator but that's areas we're looking at as well as some of our larger parks like Robbinsdale," Petersen said.

Tim Moran has been beekeeping since 2014, a hobby he said that quickly turned into a passion.

"It is a fantastic designation, in May of 2015, Rapid City passed an ordinance, which allowed hobby beekeepers to keep bees within the city limits of Rapid City, and since that time hobby beekeeping has really just flourished here in the Black Hills," Moran said.

Both Black Hills State University and South Dakota state University are certified bee campuses.