Bee plentiful with the Garden City Lands

One solution is the Garden City Lands. In this case, the problem for that solution is the bee shortage, expressed lately in the Vancouver Sun in pieces with a “Pollination by bees is essential” theme.

In the PARC graphic, you’ll notice the birds-and-the-bees label in the bottom-left corner, which is the southwest corner bordered by Westminster Highway and Garden City Road. Conservation biologist (and teacher) Michael Wolfe would actually like to extend that all the way north to the west entrance to the Garden City Lands. One reason is that nesting birds love it, and the other reason is that native bees love it, an agricultural use of growing importance no matter how you look at it.

Garden City Lands PARC, Parkland for Agriculture, Recreation, and Conservation

Denise Ryan’s bee article says in part:

Lower Mainland blueberry farmers are in a desperate hunt for bees to pollinate their plants.

There’s a simple formula in blueberry farming: no bees, no blueberries.

Pete McMartin’s bee column is mostly  an interview with Dr. Elizabeth Elle, a professor and researcher. The column says in part:

Elle is a biologist at Simon Fraser University. She knows bees. She is passionately concerned about saving them, especially native species, which have been facing a well-documented decline around the world.

Our own native Western bumblebee, for example, was plentiful in the Lower Mainland 20 years ago. It hasn’t been seen in the past few years, she says, and now may be extirpated here.

[Elle says] “We have documented over the past couple of years that growers are not getting as much fruit as if they had full pollination of their crops.”

It’s for this reason Elle has spent much of her efforts on the conservation of native bees and the spread of agriculture methods that would help propagate them. Native bees are more efficient and, simply, they’re here.

We’ve previously discussed what we and the bees can do for each other in “Listening to the bees of the Garden City Lands.”

What we’d really like to do is have a “Bees of the Lands” eco-tour, and local bee expert Brian Campbell is a Friend of Garden City who is willing to lead one or to team up with guide Michael Wolfe.

The difficulty is that the best time for bee tours is the time of year when Brian is already working eighty-hour weeks. There’s gotta be a way, though.

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