© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oregon teen’s bee-autiful license plate design honors state’s busy pollinators

Teenager with bee-themed license plate
Ellen Silva
Marek Stanton with the "Pollinator Paradise" license plate he designed.

If you’re sweet on honey bees and want to share that love with your fellow drivers, then a new license plate celebrating Oregon’s pollinators is just for you. We share the buzz on its designer.

 Bee-themed license plate
Brian Bull
Close-up of the "Pollinator Paradise" plate designed by Marek Stanton.

Marek Stanton was just 15 when he designed the plate, which got 3,000 pre-orders in just two weeks. It shows the managed honey bee, and the wild yellow-faced bumble bee, amidst a field of red clover.

A high schooler in Estacada, Marek says he became interested in bees during the pandemic. He's also the youngest member of Oregon State University’s Master Melittologist Program (melittologyis the study of bees.) His mother Kalika attended all the required courses because he’s a minor.

And of course, she's delighted that her son has designed a license plate that will be seen on many vehicles across Oregon later this year.

“It was cool because as he’s getting his license, he’s also has his own license plate to have on a car he can actually drive," she told KLCC. "He was only 14 when it started, and so it was funny that he could design a license plate but not even have a permit.”

Marek said one thing he wants Oregonians to do for the state’s estimated 800 species of bees, is not to harm them.

“Because a lot of people, their first inclination is ‘It’s a bee, they sting, kill it.’ I’d rather people make more habitat for bees.”

Bees at Oregon State University

The Pollinator Paradise License Plate is available starting in November. For each one sold, $35 benefit OSU’s bee research programs.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.