I was impressed with the design for the Vancouver convention centre, in downtown Vancouver, having bee hives on the green roof.
The six-acre rooftop garden is crafted as a habitat for the 400,000 native plants and grasses growing there, as well as for birds and bugs (it houses hives for 60,000 bees).
Many Animal Bylaws, including Castlegar’s prohibit bees in urban areas. Is this a move from the corporate honey companies to control the competition? Or are bees really dangerous in urban areas? I must say that wasps and hornets are way scarier in my books. If they are such a problem, why are hives being installed on a public building in the highest density city in British Columbia?
And in another story from Vancouver, this time about Mason bees which are fairly docile and rarely sting…
A $90,000 project to increase the bee population in Vancouver is underway with volunteers now monitoring 53 new colonies of mason bees, living in their own “bee condos” in various parks and public spaces around the city.
The program began last year with 100 mason-bee condos being distributed to homeowners for placing in backyards, said Hartley Rosen, manager of Environmental Youth Alliance, the volunteer organization that is responsible for the initiative.
Residents taking a colony of 36 bees were expected to plant pollen-rich, bee-friendly plants and fruit trees and to garden organically without the use of pesticides, Rosen said.
Vancouver’s making their city more friendly to bees. it is worth asking your local givernment what they are doing to protect and encourage pollinators. Some suggestions:
- Ban Chemical Herbicides
- Ban Chemical Insecticides
- Permit Mason Bees at a minimum
- Consider allowing Honey Bees, particularly in less dense neighbourhoods
- Encourage the growing of crops that require pollination
Here’s something you probably didn’t know…
…bees provide another service to flowers, besides acting as a pollen vehicle – they deliver a protection service for their very buzzing scares away hungry caterpillars.
Give bees a break. Local honey is important, we have no other readily available local sweetener in the Kootenays. They are an important part of the food chain, assisting with the pollination of fruit trees and vegetables, they likely displace many species of wasps, and now we find out they scare caterpillars away. Sure they sting, but they provide an important service and we shouldn’t malign their reputation as a result.