The days are getting warmer and the sound of bees buzzing in backyards has begun.
Bees and other pollinators are essential components of healthy ecosystems and are responsible for one out of every three bites of food people eat. They forage for pollen and nectar in backyards, roadsides and farm hedgerows, but are now under threat from lack of habitat.
Delta’s Earthwise Society, in partnership with the Delta Chamber of Commerce, encourages residents to help “Feed the Bees” by stocking their gardens with pesticide-free plants that bloom from March through October. As long as bees are active, they need food.
To help gardeners make wise choices about what plants to choose, the Earthwise nursery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., offering a variety of plants, grown from divisions from its ecological demonstration garden, and free from pesticides. Plants are grouped according to site conditions and habitat uses, with an entire section devoted to bee-friendly plants
On Saturday May 9, Earthwise Society will host its annual Bee Friendly Plant Sale from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. In addition to choosing from a wide selection of bee-friendly plants, visitors can get an up-close peek at a living beehive with resident beekeeper Janet Wilson.
A selection of bee garden starter kits will also be available, consisting of seven perennials that will bloom in succession from spring until fall. Not only are these plants important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinators, they provide colourful flowers for gardens all year.
To help Earthwise Society increase its offerings of pesticide-free plants, organizers are looking for donations of perennial divisions. If you can help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. All proceeds from the plant sale go directly to the Feed the Bees program and other Earthwise educational programming.
The Earthwise Society’s farm and garden is located at 6400 3 Ave. in Boundary Bay. The farm store is open Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., selling fresh certified organic produce from the demonstration farm.