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

CVSAR team submitted photo
CVSAR calls have doubled

CVSAR responds to various emergencies

Logo of Election BC
Election candidates adapt to pandemic

COVID-19 protocols make for unique campaign

Submitted photo of Manny Osborne-Paradis
Manny Osborne-Paradis retires after 16 years of World Cup ski racing

One of Canada’s most accomplished skiers shifts his focus to family time, school time

Photo of the owners of KaBre Candle & Bath co, Brenda Valer and Kayle Prichard, by Camille Aubin
New business in town: KaBre Candle & Bath co

Where to find your candle and bath product

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read