Honey and wild bees account for 90% of the insects that pollinate1 our fruits and vegetables. Among these fruits and vegetables, apples, onions, cucumbers, almonds, peanuts and cotton depend exclusively or almost exclusively on bees for pollination.
It is therefore very important to make sure bees survive so we can ensure our own survival.
Where are the bees?
Bee colonies are collapsing all around the world. There are several factors for these collapses, but the scientific community is unanimous that two are the main cause:
First, varroa, which is a parasitic mite of the honey bee. It causes an illness – varroosis – that attacks adult bees and larvae and gradually weakens the colony. Because it has spread nearly everywhere honey bees are present, varroosis has become a global problem.
Second, the famous neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide used in agriculture and horticulture to get rid of parasites, weaken bees and make them more vulnerable to disease and bad weather.
Because sustainable development is solution-driven, there are, luckily, solutions to this problem:
- Combat the use and proliferation of the bio-aggressors previously mentioned
- Gradually introduce honey bees to our urban centres, in balance with the hundreds of species of wild bee and other pollinators
Want to do your part to save the bees and other important pollinators? There are lots of things you can do in your yard and your garden that can make a big difference. Here are some ways you can help:
- Grow plants that attract pollinators
- Grow a variety of plants that flower at different times over the summer
- Incorporate native plants into your garden
Check out the Espace pour la vie website for a list of annuals and perennials that are easy to integrate into your garden that bees will love.