Feed The Bees: a community effort to feed – and save – ourselves

After Saturday’s publication in The Vancouver Sun of our new Honey Bee Zen blog, I received a note from Ian Tait, an old Olympics friend who is now involved in an effort to help bees make it in this tough world of ours. It’s called Feed The Bees.

Flying bee on lavender

Flying honey bee on lavender

Tait pointed me to this cooperative effort by the Delta Chamber of Commerce and Earthwise Society to promote the planting of bee-friendly flowers and vegetation. The effort is in direct response to the peril bees face because of the loss of sources of nectar and pollen, and the effects of agricultural and cosmetic pesticides.

Tait is the site’s webmaster (and also a consumate communicator) and he has assembled a powerful set of resources for gardeners, farmers and the public at large who want to know how to help improve the health of bees by planting bee-friendly plants. This is no idle need, either.

“The declining bee population is a concern to every one of us. One out of every three spoonfuls of food people eat depends on a bee or a pollinator,” Tait said.

The interest in Feed The Bees is widespread; Tait said they’ve received attention from the Royal Horticultural Society in England as well National Geographic and the Xerces Society. On July 11 supporters of Feed The Bees will appear before Delta municipal council seeking endorsement. The corporation, like many in Metro Vancouver, has adopted stringent rules around the use of pesticides. But education about the need to encourage the planting of bee-friendly flowers, plants and forage is still necessary.

On Wednesday evening Earthwise Society – a 30-year-old organic farm – is holding a fundraiser for Feed The Bees. Ironically, the live music is courtesy of “For The Birds.”

The band features three of B.C.’s singer-songwriters, Aspen Switzer, Genevieve Rainev and Elaine Ryan. All were finalists in the Lilith Local Talent Search songwriting contest that was part of searching for talent for Sara McLachlan’s 2010 Lilith tour. It starts at 6 p.m. at Earthwise Society, 6400 3rd Ave in Delta near Boundary Bay.

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