Bees Matter. Plant a Pollinator-Friendly Garden. | Toronto Teacher Mom

Bees Matter. Plant a Pollinator-Friendly Garden.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bees Matter. Plant a Pollinator-Friendly Garden.

As a child, I had a fear of many things, some of which kept me up at night and others that had me running indoors. Many of these fears, though common among children, were quite silly now that I look back on them. I was afraid of dogs, the dark, snakes, Freddy Krueger and bees, to name a few. Yes, bees. To think that an insect that was one thirtieth my size could scare the bejeezus out of me... well, it did. Why do we need bees anyway? I would ask myself. I didn't like honey and that's all bees were good for, right?

The truth of the matter is that honey bees are important to farmers and their crops. Not only do they continuously collect pollen and nectar as food for their colony, they work as pollinators, spreading pollen to other plants and thereby helping crops to grow, crops such as cucumber, pumpkins, blueberries, cherries and apples. Honey bees are so essential to healthy crops that farmers hire beekeepers to bring hives to their farms to promote pollination. 

One out of every three bites of food we eat is a result of pollinators like honey bees.

According to Statistics Canada, the number of beekeepers and honey bee hives is increasing, but there are, however, a variety of factors that affect pollinator health

  • Parasites - One of the biggest threats is the varroa mite that not only weaken the honey bees and shorten their life spans, they also spread viruses throughout the hives.
  • Weather - Cold, long winters and harsh weather conditions can affect crops and reduce food supply for honey bees, making it difficult for them to survive.
  • Disease - Like people, honey bee colonies can contract viruses, bacteria and fungal pathogens.
  • Pesticides - Though new innovations in pesticide technology means they’ve become safer over the years, if used improperly pesticides could affect honey bee colonies.
  • Lack of food sources - If there is not enough pollen and nectar collected during the summer months, honey bees won't have enough food to last the winter.
Inadequate nutrition is an important factor to hive health. This is why it is important to ensure there are a variety of flowering plants blooming throughout the summer months. This where the Bees Matter initiative comes in. By working together with beekeepers, scientists, environmentalists and everyday Canadians, we can help improve honey bee health. The Bees Matter initiative was designed to educate the public on the importance of honey bees, factors affecting their health and what we can do to protect a vital component of farming and food production.

Bees Matter - Buzzing Garden Seed Kit

As part of the Bees Matter initiative, Canadians can participate in the Buzzing Gardens program and plant their very own pollinator-friendly gardens. By signing up for the program, you will received a packet of seeds so you can grow a variety of flowers that bees will love. This is the third year that Bees Matter has been giving away seed kits, resulting in nearly 70,000 gardens across Canada. 
Bees Matter

To sign up for the program, visit beesmatter.ca and they will send out one seed packet per household while supplies last. It's the perfect activity the whole family can enjoy in celebration of National Planting Week. From June 5th to June 12th, join fellow Canadians in planting your Buzzing Garden seed kit which contains non-invasive varieties of flowering plants that are not only native to Canada, but also recommended by Pollinator Partnership Canada. Head on over to beesmatter.ca to view a map of all of the current pollinator-friendly garden hot spots and sign up for your own seed kit today!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Bees Matter blogger campaign and have received special perks. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the great post, I am going to the site and going to get a pack of seeds to plant flowers for the bees, I hate the little buggers but we do need them to survive!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the low maintenance feature of wildflowers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to plant some bee friendly plants in my garden. My boys would love to do this. Bees are so important. This is a great program!

    ReplyDelete

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