The Bee Cause

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Bees are critical to food security

Two-thirds of the food crops humans eat everyday require bees and other pollinators to successfully produce a crop. However, the health and productivity of honeybees, bumble bees, and other pollinators are in great peril, and populations are dwindling worldwide.

Although honey bee losses have been linked to multiple factors, a strong and growing body of scientific evidence has shown that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides are a major contributing factor to bee decline.

Nature designed distinct roles for each wild bee species to play in pollinating plants and we need them all. But they’re up against big stresses like habitat loss, climate change, pesticides and diseases.

A key example is the Rusty-patched bumble bee, once abundant in southern Ontario and now almost extinct and officially designated as endangered. Six more bees have declined to such an extent that scientists have advised the federal Minister of Environment to take steps to protect them.

There are over 800 confirmed species of wild native bees in Canada with little proper monitoring. Few people can actually recognize wild bees even though there may be up to 50 species in a typical backyard.

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Check out what you can do for the bees:

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• Sign the Petition to Protect Wild, Native Bees – help us encourage the Federal Minister of Environment to protect endangered bumble bees

• Watch A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee – a powerful documentary about the importance of bees for food security

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• Demand an immediate ban on the use of imidacloprid – send your letter to Heath Canada and demand that they change their ban schedule!

• Remind the MPs on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee that they represent us, not big chemical companies – sign and send your letter now!

 

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• Learn more about Canadian garden retailers taking action – read statements, action summaries, petitions and more!

• Read stories from Canadian gardeners who went shopping for neonic-free plants and send us yours!

• Download and print copies of the Say No To Neonics post card to leave at garden centres or share a digital card over your networks and with friends and family!

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Read our World Environment Day blog post about connecting with nature and check out five top spotting tips for the next time you decide to go bee spotting!

• Read about the Sudbury Earthdancers, who have chosen Friends of the Earth Canada as a beneficiary to their annual performances for the past nineteen years.

• Stay tuned for more stories, experiences and more as shared by our many friends of the Earth! You can also click here to learn more about volunteering with Friends of the Earth Canada.

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• Take the pledge to Let It Bee! – “Let It Bee” calls for dramatic changes in commercial landscaping and domestic gardening.

• Create your Bee & Bee – learn how to support our pollinators in your own backyard

 

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Friends of the Earth Canada will run its annual Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count from July 2017 to August 2017 in collaboration with Bumble Bee Watch. Sign up here to receive news and updates related to the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Watch.

If you’re planted your own Bee & Bee for bumble bees, you’ll want to stay tuned for new details on this citizen science campaign.

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We are using every technique we’ve learned to save this important keystone species beecause we care about the bees and all of the ecosystem services these species provide. Just banning the pesticides isn’t enough—we have to work together to restore wild bee habitat and ensure no new threats arise through regulation, research, corporate responsibility, and public participation.