Get the buzz on bees this week

Bee workshop highlights importance of pollination in the West Kootenay

A flowering issue has the West Kootenay a buzz.

On Thursday a free workshop on why native pollinators are important to our lifestyle in the West Kootenay, and how we can encourage them through better ecology, will be offered at Selkirk College in the Muriel Griffiths Room.

Hosted by Rossland REAL Food, native bee specialist and entomologist Lynn Westcott will be speaking in Trail (Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m.) and in Rossland (April 12) about a species that affects us at a core level.

Bees perform one of the most vital aspects in the creation of a healthy local food system, said Westcott. They are critical to pollination, and pollination is necessary for flowering plants to produce, whether that be fruit or propagation.

“Bees have co-evolved with a lot of the flowering plants,” she said. “Pollen provides the primary food source for the next generation of developing bees. And as they fly from flower to flower they transfer pollen from plant to plant which allows the plants to reproduce.”

A lot of the fruit plants we derive our food from in the West Kootenay are flowering plants, said Westcott, and they require animal pollinators in order for them to reproduce, to produce seed and to produce food.

“And the majority of animal pollinators are insect, and those are mainly bees,” she said.

There are no hard numbers about a percentage of decline in bee populations in the West Kootenay, but all over the world their descent is an issue. Westcott said the factors that play into these global reductions — from habitat loss or habitat changes, to pesticide use, to parasites and diseases — are the same here.

In the West Kootenay, many of the 450 species of native bees actually nest in the ground.

“So anything that disturbs the soil disturbs the native habitat for these bees,” she said.

Honeybees, however, are not a native species. They were introduced from overseas when Europeans first came over to North America.

Thursday’s presentation, supported by Communities in Bloom, will include an overview of plant pollination and why it is important, both in a local food production perspective but also for a healthy ecology perspective.

People will be introduced to the various groups of native bees in the Boundary West Kootenay region, as well as learning simple ways to provide habitat for native bees in a yard or in the garden through pollinator friendly flowering plants.

The last part of the evening will be spent showing people how simple it is to construct some habitat for bees.

Only Trail registrants for the Thursday workshop go to Selkirk College. In Rossland, contact Hanne Smith (250-362-7767) to register for the workshop in April.

Two field sessions are planned in early June in Trail and Rossland.

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

A B.C. police officer shows an approved roadside screening device. Photo: Saanich News file
Woman caught passed out behind the wheel in Trail

Police located the 38-year old in her parked but still running car, and had to rouse her awake.

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read