The other day I got into a good conversation with a friend about bees in the garden. We’ve been concerned about the decline in recent years. Both having witnessed that decline first hand in our own gardens. The noticeable drop in the bee population set off all sorts of alarm bells.
In my garden a little over 7 years ago, I struggled to get my eldest, a toddler at the time, into the garden because of the intense humm that orbited it. Bees were in every flower from spring to fall. It was wonderful and I loved the humm. They filled the garden with a symphony of busy workers.
Elizabeth was only a year old and understandably a little skittish about the buzz. We overcame the problem over time. We showed her that the bees were busy in the garden and had no time for us as long as we didn’t interfere with them.
Jump forward a year or two and we began to see fewer and fewer bees in the garden. While the humm could still be found in hot spots, it had lost its orbiting hue. The buzz had faded. The orchestra was gone.
Which brings me back to that conversation with my friend. The topic of tv came up and we both vented a little over a commercial that had been blasting the airwaves recently for weed killer. The assumptions that were made in that commercial! The inaccuracies and the blatant bait and switch offered by giving you free “Bee seeds” with purchase. These sprays and other harmful pesticides are one of the very reasons our bees are in jeopardy.
In Port Coquitlam we have reduced our consumption of pesticides. At least in home gardens. They are not available to consumers, and for that I am thankful. However there are still those who have that surplus in the shed, or cross the border to buy bulk, cheap. More education is needed.
On a more positive note, since pesticides were taken off the shelf in our community I have noticed an uptick in bee activity. This year there are more bees in my garden than last. I’m hopeful this pattern will repeat. Its still no orchestrated humm, but this small victory is note worthy and should be celebrated.
For the love of bees and food production this madness has to stop. For more information on how to create a healthy garden that naturally encourages the good bug, while discouraging the bad check out my recent post on the Proven Winners blog. You can also follow the link for information from the David Suzuki Foundation on how to create a bee friendly garden.