Oregon State University’s Horticulture Department quickly sold out of pre-orders on its newly designed “pollinator paradise” license plate, which aims to celebrate the more than 600 bee species in the state.
The state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division of Oregon Department of Transportation needed to get at least 3,000 pre-orders to produce the plate. That happened quickly. According to the Pollinator Paradise website, the state has sold out of pre-sale vouchers for the plates, and is not taking more pre-orders at this time. Presumably people will get another chance to order them later. The plates have a $40 specialty surcharge when initially ordered, along with the regular title, registration and plate fees.
For each sale, $35 goes to support bee research conducted by the OSU Extension Pollinator Health Lab and Honey Bee Lab programs. This revenue also has the potential to support graduate students doing bee research at OSU.
The license plate is also a salute to the bee protection protocols developed by the Oregon Clover Commission as well as Oregon beekeepers, whose bees pollinate the bulk of the nation’s vegetable seed. Oregon produces more than 25% of the U.S. supply of seed for red clover, which supports the highest diversity of bumble bees compared to any other crop, according to Andony Melathopoulos, OSU Extension pollinator health specialist. Both managed and wild bees pollinate clover, and its nectar and pollen are a food source for bees.