A local specimen enjoying sunflower nectar. Karen Powell photo

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

It’s time to get buzzing about bumblebees as Friends of the Earth begins its third annual Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count.

The environmental organization has even launched a Bumble Bee Count app to help people across the country photograph, identify and locate bumble bees. The third annual count began Aug. 1.

Friends of the Earth Canada says there are more than 800 confirmed species of wild native bees in Canada.

“Last year we received more than 2,500 beautiful photos and descriptions of bumble bees from all across the country,” says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth Canada.

“With the launch of our new Bumble Bee Count app we’re hoping to receive even more in 2018.”

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still get involved by submitting your photos the the Friends of the Earth webpage.

More than two-thirds of the food crops we depend on benefit from pollination by native bees, honey bees and other pollinators. Friends of the Earth says bumble bees are especially important – they are capable of buzz pollination, making them particularly effective pollinators for certain crops and flowers including blueberries and tomatoes.

“Bees are facing the same climate challenges you and I face – from heat waves to fires and floods,” says Olivastri. “Add that to exposure to neonic pesticides, habitat loss and pathogen spillover from domesticated bumble bees, and Canada’s wild bees are under growing pressures to just survive.”

Photos and observations from the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count help signal changes in how bumble bees are dealing with these issues.

The rusty-patched bumble bee, once abundant in southern Ontario, is now almost extinct and officially designated as endangered, says the Friends of the Earth news release. On advice from scientists, the federal government has designated four more native bees for protection under the Species at Risk Act. The yellow-banded bumble bee is considered at risk after numbers in southern Canada declined by at least 34 per cent.

Check out some of the submissions so far on the Friends of the Earth Instagram feed, and get involved by downloading the app or visiting www.foecanada.org/en/issues/bumble-bee-count for more details.

Just Posted

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Most Read