Honey bee populations are on the rise in Canada according to Statistics Canada, but they still face challenges. One of the major factors affecting honey bee health is access to adequate nutrition.

Honey bees spend a third of their life flying to find flowers with pollen and nectar that they can bring back to the hive. One thing we can do to help these important insects is plant a variety of flowers that are attractive to honey bees and other pollinators.

Bees Matter wants to get Canadians planting pollinator-friendly gardens across the country so the group is designating June 5-12 as National Planting Week.

Taking part is easy to do through the Bees Matter Buzzing Gardens program. You can visit www.beesmatter.ca and sign-up for a free seed kit.

Every Buzzing Gardens seed kit contains seeds from five varieties of flowering plants that are attractive and nutritious to honey bees and can be grown in gardens all over the country. Each seed kit contains a variety of annual and perennial seeds to plant a five square foot garden. The seeds are also recommended as non-invasive by Pollinator Partnership Canada.

Bees Matter launched in 2015 and has given away over 70,000 seed kits free of charge to Canadians through its Buzzing Gardens program. That’s enough seeds to plant gardens the size of six football fields or 20 hockey rinks! The goal for 2017 is to distribute the 100,000th seed kit.

To reach the goal, Bees Matter is hoping Canadians will choose to plant their garden during National Planting Week, June 5-12, to increase sources of nectar and pollen and help honey bees and other pollinators thrive.

While you’re out planting, don’t forget to take pictures of your garden and share them with the hashtag #Plantforbees, to show the country how you are helping honey bees and other pollinators thrive.

To learn more about Bees Matter and National Planting Week, check out the segment that aired recently on Breakfast Television with Frankie Flowers, or visit our website at www.beesmatter.ca.

 

Jillian Bender, chair, Bees Matter and senior communications officer, CropLife Canada

CropLife Canada is proud to be a partner of Bees Matter, a group of agricultural organizations with a vested interest in honey bee health and the goal to provide a platform for conversation, dialogue and information sharing regarding modern agriculture and the importance of ensuring a healthy environment for honey bees, which play an important role in Canadian food production and agriculture.