Food production and bees: Believe it or not, the two go hand-in-hand … like milk and honey.
Bees serve an all-important role in transferring pollen and seeds from one flower to another - a practice that supports at least 30 per cent of the world's food crops and 90 per cent of our wild plants, according to the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council.
But despite a bee's integral role in cross-pollination, news that their population is on the decline is unlikely to come up at the dinner table.
But it is catching the attention of governments around the world, including in Europe, the U.S, as well as here at home, in Canada.
I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.
Sierra Club Canada is calling on the federal government to follow the lead of European Union and take action to protect at-risk bee populations by banning three neonicotinoid pesticides: Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam.
The pesticides, which attack the bees’ nervous system, are being banned in Europe after strong evidence from a European Food Safety Authority study linked them to the bee die-off witnessed in Europe.
Howie Chong is the new National President of the Sierra Club Canada, and he is in Halifax this week to meet supporters, and to get input and ideas about organization priorities and direction.
He is here to introduce himself to members of the Sierra Club Atlantic, based in Halifax, and to encourage involvement and participation on important regional and national issues including: oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, opposition to fracking, and promoting renewable energy.
This summer we have put together a few "walks and talks" around Mississauga and Toronto. These walks are free, and are guided by naturalists and professionals that provide a chance to get outdoors and learn something new about the natural areas within our communities. We hope you can join us for some of these events. Please feel free to share with those you think might be interested in attending!
June 13 (Thurs, 7-8 pm) -- Natural Capital walk & talk at Rattray Marsh. Discover this Lake Ontario marsh via board-walk with guest speaker Bob Morris, Manager of Natural Heritage at Credit Valley Conservation