I love berries – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries – they are all such a pleasure during the summer months. Though I don’t often think about how these berries came to be until I came across an article the other day about the decline of bees. Bees are undeniably a pivotal aspect to any ecosystem. Some plants can self-pollinate and don’t require any assistance from bees or other pollinators. Other plants rely on the wind to spread their seed or on other creatures like bats or beetles. But as much as ¼ of all the fruits and vegetables we do eat need or greatly benefit from bees such as those delicious berries.
As farming intensifies, cities get bigger and the use of pesticides increases the hardworking bee is faces an unhappy population decline. The Canadian Honey Council reported an average decrease of 35% over the past three years of honeybees. It’s a scary thought but there are ways to help support our bee population. The David Suzuki Foundation has some great tips:
· Create your own pollinator-friendly garden using a wide variety of native flowering plants.
· Eliminate pesticide use.
· Encourage your local council to implement pollinator-friendly policies and to maintain and enhance pollinator habitat.
· Encourage local clubs or school groups to build pollinator habitats such as butterfly gardens and bee blocks.
· Support agriculture enterprises with pollinator-friendly practices such as farms that avoid or minimize pesticide use.
· Encourage government agencies to take into account the full economic benefits of wild pollinators and their habitat when formulating policies for agriculture and other land uses.
In the garden at Redfish Bluefish Café we’ll be making Bee Cafés! Little bee homes give places for bees to nest, rest, cool down and seek shelter from the rain or predators. Place them in your garden near you veggies or flowers or in a park and watch your plants flourish as beautiful bees buzz in and out of your bee café.