Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good News for Vancouver Bees: Saving the Arbutus Corridor

Let's focus on some good news for National Pollinator Week. Now that the City of Vancouver has purchased the Arbutus Corridor, countless bees and an important pollinator corridor have been saved.

The combination of cultivated gardens and weedy verges make up a healthy biodiversity of plants that support bees and good nesting sites for a wide range of native bees.

Many of these bees are smaller than honeybees and they do not sting.

These bees ensure the berries and fruit along the Arbutus corridor develop ripe, plump fruit.

They may not make honey, but working as a team they are actually more efficient pollinators than honeybees.

Bumblebees and honeybees can sting, but male bees like this one cannot sting. If you learn to tell the male bees from the female, you can pet them like a little cat.

This female bee is carrying at least two different kinds of pollen in her pollen baskets.

This native shrub, Douglas' Spirea is like cotton candy for bees. They scramble over it collecting pollen.

Thistles also attract bees of all stripes.

 These umbels made of tiny flowers attract the wee bees that tickle when they land on your skin.

This bee has bright yellow hairs that mimic the pollen it carries.

California poppies attract bumblebees, leafcutter bees, turquoise sweat bees, and more.

This bee's setae, or branched hairs are completely coated in orange pollen.

This flower in the aster family (Erigeron, I believe) was attracting bees of all stripes.

Flowers in the carrot family attract the tiniest of bees.

I'm thrilled to be one of the instructors this year in World in a Garden's Bee-Coming Leaders: A Bee School for kids. We'll be going on safaris to watch these native bees every day of the camp.

These kids will be able to mentor other kids who want to learn more about bees and the stewardship issues around creating healthy habitat for pollinators. Many thanks to the City of Vancouver for protecting this important site and let's make sure it is developed and enriched for pollinators for the future.

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