December 5, 2019 Shrew Power
It’s not an easy life for us these days. With the use of pesticides, climate change, and urban development, our existence has become more and more difficult. But what some of you might not know is that without us, your lives will become more difficult too. We, the humble bees, work hard for our food and, by doing so, help pollinate all kinds of plants and crops. In fact, we aren’t called busy bees for no reason. We pollinate 80% of all the world’s plants and 1/3 of the plants and crops you eat were pollinated by us.
In my relatively short life, I have managed to explore quite a bit of Vancouver and it is a city that I am proud to call home. City life can be tough for us with all the high-rise buildings, traffic fumes, and monoculture planting, but Vancouver is making great strides to create a bee friendly environment. Some of my favourite spots to dine can be found only a short buzz from my hive.
Burrard Skytrain station downtown in spring is one of the best spots to banquet. The cherry blossom trees provide me with an abundance of flavor, so this is a place one never leaves disappointed. Who would have thought that in the hustle and bustle of downtown life, sanctuary could be found for us bees? This is one of the reasons Vancouver is such a bee hotspot. The tree-lined streets provide food for all kinds of pollinators, whatever their dining preference.
When I am in the mood for tapas, there is no better location than Riley Park. A quick fly over to the community gardens and your every craving can be satisfied. The great variety of flavours leads to an explosion of taste. It has some of the largest sunflowers I have ever seen and the vast array of poppies makes it a paradise for pollinators.
If it’s a light snack you’re in the mood for then I find it hard to beat a quick flit over to Kitsilano for the crabapple trees. Their beautiful bloom makes for a lovely atmosphere while feasting on this flavoursome fruit tree.
Recently, my most treasured way to eat out is to visit the little food markets popping up all over Vancouver. These small pockets of wildflower plantings, are the perfect spot for a feast. The abundance of pollinators makes it a social hub and the variety of wildflowers, such as cornflowers, coreopsis, daises, and lupines assault the senses.
From a human’s point of view, pollinators play a far more important role in their lives than one would think. Apples, onions, garlic, sweet potato, and lettuce are all pollinated by bees. Even some of the plants (Alfalfa) that dairy cattle consume are yes, you guessed it, pollinated by bees. So, the decline of bees can have a huge knock on effect for human life.
Vancouver’s extensive display of flora is only good news for the bee community and with the desire to have a beautiful retreat and landscape in your garden why not also make it a safe sanctuary or a tasty morsel for your friendly neighborhood bees. By implementing both a magnificent and diverse planting plan, you can continue to promote pollinators’ prosperity,while also creating a bewitching environment for you to relax in and enjoy. A little space of enchantment for bees and humans alike.