The city of Oshawa is tapping into its inner bee and bringing more pollinator gardens to the city. The effort has beelined it to the top at Bee Canada, earning it the title of a bee-friendly city.
“This seemed to be a natural step forward for us to increase the number of pollinator gardens,” says city councillor Rick Kerr.
The city has been creating a number of gardens to attract bees. Oshawa will join roughly 20 cities across the country that have been given the name.
JoAnne Poirier, who has been working with honey bees for more than 10 years, says creating more gardens for bees is a positive start.
“Bees have been under assault for at least the last 10 years,” says Poirier. “From reduced naturized areas, reduced pollenized areas they can find food in.”
That issue has become a growing problem for the declining bee population. Experts say millions of bees have died over the past 10 years, due to pesticides and climate change as contributing factors. Poirier who owns ‘Kiss My Bees Honey’ takes care of hundreds of thousands of bees around the Durham region. She says having more bee-friendly gardens helps sustain the species, and helps us as well.
“I’m happy to hear they are making steps to have more natural areas. The honey and nectar, that is food for them. They pollinate all of our crops,” says Poirier.
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She says the gardens can help, but we can pitch in at home, too, by selecting certain flowers to plant.
“Think about what you are putting in your gardens. There’s lots of nurseries now that are very aware of bee-friendly plants, perennials and annuals,” says Poirier.
Oshawa has five formal pollinator gardens, community gardens and dozens of others around the city. Kerr says he hopes other communities will follow suit.
“It’s one thing for Oshawa do it, but I think other municipalities should strive for this, and all it’s going to do is make life better.”