The bees are in trouble! Bee populations on Vancouver Island and around North America are collapsing. There are ways to help them. It starts in our own backyards (literally).
One of every three bites of food we eat comes from bee-pollinated plants: peaches, blueberries, strawberries, melons, citrus fruits, apples, broccoli, squash, cucumbers–you name it. Bees are the most common pollinator and are vital to the health of our planet. There are over 1000 native species of bees in Canada alone.
Through the months of June and July, SocialCoast will be worked with Spring Ridge Commons to bring back to life the Bee Garden, as well as raise awareness around the issues that are affecting the health of the bees on Vancouver Island.
Gord Hutchins, our local bee expert and a professor up at UVic, was kind enough to give us an amazing presentation about native bees and how their struggles, though less known, are more urgent than the honey bees. The presentation was followed by a screening of the film "Queen of the Sun", which was a great hit and together with Gord's presentation created some meaningful discussion afterwards. If anyone would like to borrow our copy of "Queen of the Sun" please e-mail Nikki@SocialCoast.org.
A couple weeks later, we hosted a work party/potluck at Spring Ridge Commons. This was an amazing opportunity to get the community out cellebrating the garden, bees and great local food! We painted some plant identification signs, planted a few new food plants and created a bee friendly plant area. All in all, it was a great time and we recommend that everyone go and check out Spring Ridge Commons and what they are doing it truly is an amazing asset to the community.
Finally, our last project is to creat some bee friendly gardens throughout Victoria. We are asking if anyone has a boulevard or any area that they would like to see become available to native bees, e-mail Nikki@SocialCoast.org. Starting in September, we will be coming by to seed the area and place a sign up with a few native bee facts and hopefully next spring it will become a haven for naive bees! Also, if you already have a bee garden set up contact us and we will come and place a sign in your garden for you so that everyone who walks by it can be educated on native bees.
A big thanks to Spring Ridge Commons, LifeCycles and Gord Hutchins for all their help in making this campaigne a success!
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Some helpful Bee Friendly resources: