June 3, 2015 – Today marks the launch of Buzzing Gardens, a national program spearheaded by Bees Matter that provides Canadians with free seeds to plant pollinator-friendly gardens. Farmers, beekeepers, and several agricultural organizations, including the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), have come together in support of honey bee health and are taking action to help improve access to nutritious food sources.
“As we feed a growing population both at home and around the world, the agricultural community recognizes the importance of pollinators, like honey bees, who are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat,” says Gregory Sekulić, CCC agronomy specialist and representative on the Bees Matter initiative. “The Buzzing Gardens program is our way of helping Canadians get involved in supporting honey bees, just as the agriculture community has always done.”
Statistics Canada reports honey bee colony numbers across the country are increasing, but honey bee health is very complex and every Canadian can play a role in keeping honey bees healthy. Most bee health experts agree that there is no single factor affecting honey bee health. Instead, parasites like the deadly varroa mite, diseases, harsh weather, incorrect use of pesticides and inadequate nutrition all affect honey bee colonies.
Now, through the Buzzing Gardens program, Canadians can do their part by visiting www.beesmatter.ca and ordering a free Buzzing Garden seed packet. Each seed packet contains seasonal and perennial seeds to plant a 5 sq. ft. (0.45 m2) garden that has been approved by Pollinator Partnership Canada to attract and feed pollinators no matter what province or community you live in.
Bees need agriculture and agriculture needs bees. Farmers and beekeepers have a long history of working together to protect pollinators, like the honey bee. Farmers across Canada have welcomed beekeepers to place hives on their farmland, so honey bees can be close to nutritious food sources like canola.
For more information about Bees Matter, the Buzzing Gardens program and to learn about honey bee health, visit www.beesmatter.ca
For videos and more information on bees and canola, visit http://canolacouncil.org/markets-stats/industry-overview/bees-and-canola-a-sweet-relationship/
The Canola Council of Canada is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, processors, life science companies and exporters. Canola is an ideal source of forage and nutrition for bees. The CCC cooperates on national and North American initiatives including the Bee Health Roundtable to ensure canola production practices are compatible with pollinator health. The CCC is also a partner in Bees Matter, an initiative to restate agriculture’s commitment to honey bees and bring knowledge to the Canadian public about how they can get involved and help honey bees thrive.
Media may contact:
Heidi Rubeniuk, Director, Communications