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On World Bee Day, Canadians Called On to Host Wild, Native Bees

Tuesday, May 19th 2020 1:05:05pm

Media Release
May 19, 2020 (Ottawa, Ontario) - On World Bee Day (May 20), Friends of the Earth is calling on Canadians to create B & Bs (Bee & Bees) in their yards to host bumble bees and other wild, native bees. Bumble bees in Canada are key pollinators for many native plants and are more effective pollinators than introduced honey bees for specific crops, like tomatoes. There are more than 40 species of bumble bees across Canada.

"Your home and its yard have been your refuge during COVID-19. We’re asking you to share that refuge with native bees," says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada. "COVID-19 has made us even more aware of food security and the importance of locally grown produce.

Here’s how you can help:
  1. Download the handbook Creating Bee & Bees, available at no cost through the Friends of the Earth’s website.
    Buy or swap plants to get flowering plants with lots of pollen and nectar. Make sure they’re neonic-free.
    Dedicate a part of your yard for the Bee & Bee - make sure it’s sunny and pesticide free. Leave the mulch off so you don’t smother the bees; allow leaves and last year’s hollow stalks to remain for as long you can - these are favourite places for hibernating native bees.

  2. Spread the word  - put up a Bee & Bee sign to let your neighbours know your yard will start looking less manicured. You can download a sign from Friends of the Earth’s website.


"Honey bees are the world’s tiniest livestock, living in hives managed by beekeepers," continues Beatrice Olivastri. "But Canada’s 850+ wild, native bees are mainly solitary, ground nesting and on their own for survival.  They need your help. Please offer them refuge in your yard."

May 20th is World Bee Day, proclaimed by the United Nations to raise awareness and action in support of bees and their role as pollinators.  More than two-thirds of food crops we eat need native bees, honey bees and other pollinators to successfully produce a crop.  All around the world, intensified agriculture with its related loss of habitat, and massive increase in pesticide and herbicide use, has taken a toll on the bee population - including Canada.

Download a How to Create a Bee & Bee PDF guide.

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For more information, call:
Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Beatrice@foecanada.org or call 613 724 8690