How Sweet it is! Bees Matter Campaign Creates a Buzz

For many people, the only time they think about bees is when they get stung. But given that one third of the food we eat is linked to pollinators like honey bees, losing them would really sting.

That’s why the Barley Council of Canada is pleased to support and be a part of Bees Matter, a website and awareness campaign mounted by several agricultural groups to maintain and enhance our thriving population of pollinators.

“Globally, 80% of the plants consumed depend on pollination, largely by honey bees,” said Gregory Sekulic, an agronomist for the Canola Council of Canada and a spokesman for Bees Matter.

“Awareness” is the Buzzword

As a founding member of the campaign, the Canola Council and its partners are focused on protecting honey bee health and raising awareness of the strong bond between beekeeping and primary agriculture.

For example, “there are very few barley growers who don’t have other crops that rely on pollination,” said Sekulic. “So whatever we do to preserve the honey bee could affect producers as well.”

At the same time, Bees Matter is encouraging farmers to take an active part in the process, teaching them how to minimize their impact on bees wherever possible.

 iStock_000066175181_Medium-768x512Help Them Help You

If you’ve ever done the frantic search for a late night drive-thru to feed the munchies, you understand the stress that hunger pangs can induce. Now imagine spending eight hours a day doing that.

“For honey bees, a third of their life involves flying to find pollen they can bring back to their hives,” said Sekulic. “By pollinating a diverse range of plants, they also contribute to the success of our communities.”

With that in mind, Bees Matter introduced the Buzzing Gardens program in partnership with farmers across the country.

“Supporting honey bee health means ensuring that hives are within flying distance of a wide variety of flowers that bees can visit.”

By offering everyone a free packet of seeds, enough for a five square foot (.45 square meters) garden, “we’re giving Canadians what they need to plant their own pollinator garden.”

Sekulic is thrilled with the tremendous response to Buzzing Gardens.

“People appreciate that it’s something they can do in their own backyard and make a meaningful contribution to bee health.”golden-tickseed_coreopsis-tinctoria-360x360

Given the response, Sekulic would like to see the seed packet program expanded into parks and suburban developments down the road.

“We’d love to work on public projects and get more pollinator-friendly habitats growing in various municipalities across Canada.”

In an age where bad news rules the ratings, Sekulic and his partners on Bees Matter are glad to be part of a feel-good story this time.

“Primary agriculture and beekeeping have enjoyed a positive relationship for thousands of years. Bees Matter is a further illustration of what can be accomplished when we work together.”

And if you can’t get buzzed about that, something’s wrong.

For more information on Bees Matter or to get involved with the Buzzing Gardens Program go to, BeesMatter.ca

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