Words by Tess Becker
Oregon is home to a large variety of crops, ranging from grapes for an incredible array of wines and sweet cherries, to coastal cranberries, red clover, pears, lavender, and more.
Those plants – and many more of the flora in Oregon and around the world – wouldn’t be possible without pollinators like the honey bee.
To highlight their importance and to help contribute to protecting bees, Oregon is releasing specialty license plates, called the Pollinator’s Paradise, that feature the insects, and proceeds will go to the Horticulture Department at Oregon State University to fund research.
The plate will be an extra $40 every time you renew your tags for your plate, 35 of which will go to the aforementioned research fund and five to the DMV.
The art for the plate was made by 16-year-old Marek Stanton who is the youngest member of the Oregon State University Extension Service’s Master Melittologist Program, which is the term for someone who studies bees.
The Oregon Bee Project asked Marek to try and design something after seeing some of his other artwork.
“I think most Oregonians know that bees are important, but may not realize what makes the state such an amazing places for these creatures,” says OSU Extension pollinator health specialist, Andony Melathopoulos.
For the plate to become a permanent fixture there need to be at least 3,000 pre-orders, and at the time of writing, there are about 2,400.