Many of us have an idea that there’s a situation going on with “the bees”. While some are well-versed in the issues, not everyone is and not everyone knows what, if anything, we might be able to do to help. Until very recently, I fell into the latter category of people who understood that there’s an issue, but not much else.
Now that I have done a little bit of research, I have a much better understanding and I am proud to be partnering with Bees Matter to explain a bit about what the threats are to Canada’s honey bee population as well as what we can do to help…including an awesome project to do with your family that is absolutely FREE!
I am actually going to write part of this post in a Q&A manner, because I think it will address some of the most common questions that people have about honey bees 🙂
Why are honey bees so important?
In a nutshell, as shared on the beesmatter.ca website, one out of every three bites of food that we eat is made possible by pollinators like honey bees. This short video explains it a bit further:
Is Canada’s population of honeybees declining?
You may actually be surprised to know that according to Statistics Canada, our country’s honey bee population is at an all-time high, but there are threats to honeybee health and we Canadians must do everything possible to ensure that the honey bee population continues to thrive.
What are the threats to the honey bee population?
The biggest threat to the honey bee population comes from a parasite called that Varroa Mite. Honey bees can also be affected by disease and by improperly used pesticides. Certain pesticides are used by beekeepers to protect their hives from infestations of parasites. However these could also affect the health of the honey bees, so care needs to be taken to apply the correct dose at the appropriate time. Weather impacts the honeybee population as well, and when the winter is longer and colder than usual, it makes it difficult for colonies to survive the winter. One of the biggest dangers during those longer winters is a lack of food and without proper sources of food, hives won’t have enough to last the winter, which can lead to a hive not surviving the winter. There are more (easy-to-read) details of how and why this happens on the beesmatter.ca website. Click here to go straight to the relevant page.
What, if anything, can we do to help?
This is the fun part! We can all help honey bees by ordering a FREE seed kit from Bees Matter and planting a ‘Buzzing Garden’– the seeds will grow into flowers that are nutritious to honey bees! How fun and awesome is that???
When I heard about this I knew I HAD to share it with as many people as possible!!! Let’s review the advantages of building a ‘Buzzing Garden’:
- Opens up a dialogue about an environmental issue
- Empowers kids to do something to make a difference
- It’s a great activity to do with the kids
- It’s FREE
- Yields a beautiful garden of flowers
- Helps Canada’s pollinator population to thrive
Do you feel as excited about this initiative as I do????
Now, you may have some questions about planting a ‘Buzzing Garden’, I hope to answer those here. If you still have questions after this, please feel free to consult the beesmatter.ca website, or leave your question in the comments section at the bottom of this blog post and I’ll get back to you!
- Seeds are ideally planted right after the first frost BUT you may want to make this a project during NATIONAL PLANTING WEEK June 5th- June 12th
- Seeds can be planted outdoors in a pot or in a garden that is actually in the ground – you choose!
- There is no measuring or special spacing to do – just sprinkle, scrape into a shallow depth, water and wait! EASY 🙂
- Your FREE seed kit contains a mixture of annual and perennial seeds, so there will be some that will return next year 🙂
- Each seed kit contains 5 non-invasive varieties of flowering plants native to Canada and has been vetted by Pollinator Partnership Canada 🙂
- If you’re thinking that this would be a great initiative for your school, community centre, or local youth program to embark upon, you’re right 🙂 Bees Matter is more than happy to send bulk orders of seed kits to schools and community organizations, so YES – Let your school principal or PTA know about this incredible initiative! Bulk orders can be requested at email@example.com
So…How can you get your FREE seed packets?
Visit beesmatter.ca and scroll until you see a purple bar indicating GET YOUR FREE SEED PACKET. Click on that purple bar, fill in & submit the short order form. It’s that easy!
I also highly recommend visiting the beesmatter.ca website with your kids- it’s full of great, easy-to-read information as well as many very short yet educational videos. There is even a section designed especially for teachers 🙂
So what do you think? Should we all get together to make a difference for our Canadian pollinators? I think so!
Please share this post with your friends, families, schools and anyone else you feel would be on board!
When you plant your buzzing gardens I would love to see planting pics or pics of your flowers in bloom- or both! Please feel free to tag me @montreal_mom on those Instagram (or Twitter) photos! If you are sharing via FB feel free to tag (or even share on) the montrealmom.com FB page! I would love to see how all of us are making a difference together!
So go on, order your seed kits and start talking with your kids about why Bees Matter 🙂
Disclosure: I am proud to be partnering with Bees Matter to help spread the word about National Planting Week and how everyone can order their FREE seed packets to grown their very own Buzzing Gardens and help honey bees and other pollinators in Canada. As with all sponsored posts, I will only ever share with you products and/or services I believe in. All opinions contained within are my own and cannot be bought 🙂
I am glad there is a site to get free seeds. I have been concerned about the fate of bees for years now. I plants flowers on my balcony but I have little light so only a few species grow well. They (bees) come for my basil and mint flowers at least… since I don’t have the room or the $ for a hive of my own, I will use your seeds to plant in front of the building. There is plenty of light and room there!