PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregonians might soon have the option to sport a license plate that helps support the state’s native pollinators. 

Oregon State University worked with a young artist to design a license plate that features the native managed honey bee and the wild yellow-faced bumble bee in a field of red clover. Sales from the license plate, which is called “Pollinator Paradise,” would support bee research across the state. 

Before Oregon drivers can purchase this new plate, the Oregon State University Horticulture Department must pre-sell 3,000 license plate vouchers to prove to the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services that there is a large enough demand for the plate. After that, production can begin. 

Vouchers can be purchased online.

As of Monday at 1:30 p.m., 1,515 vouchers had already been sold. 

Anyone who pre-orders a license plate will receive a physical voucher in the mail when OSU is close to reaching its sale goal. That voucher can be brought to any Oregon DMV location and exchanged for the new plates. 

Funds from the license plate sales will help support the continued identification of bee species across the state and in the Pacific Northwest. It will also support research into how to keep honey bee stocks healthy and allow more graduate students to focus on the study of bees. 

For each sale $35 goes to support the OSU Extension Pollinator Health Lab and Honey Bee Lab programs. 

OSU said Oregon’s gardens, agricultural lands, high deserts, natural areas and forests are home to roughly 600 species of bees. 

Bees are vital to the state’s economy and researchers at OSU focus on what role humans can play to protect the insects. 

“Your purchase of a ‘Pollinator Paradise’ license plate will help us safeguard Oregon bees now and into the future,” OSU said. 

Scientists in Oregon are some of the top leaders in the country when it comes to bee research. They’ve developed a first-of-its-kind native bee survey to discover new species and which plants they rely on. 

OSU also has a lab that studies ways to optimize honey bee nutrition and has dedicated research to help landscapers and gardeners improve bee habitat in urban areas. 

The “Pollinator Paradise” license plate was designed by Marek Stanton, 16, a high school student at Summit Learning Charter School in Estacada. Marek has a lifelong love of art and color and is also a skilled entomologist. Marek is the youngest member of the Master Melittologist Program at OSU. 

The plates have a $40 specialty surcharge when they’re pre-ordered. That’s in addition to the regular title, registration and plate fees.