How can you diversify your garden to accommodate and nourish native pollinators like bees?
Entomologist Lynn Westcott will be leading a workshop in Rossland on exactly that the subject and more next week.
Bees and other insects are very important in the pollination process and Westcott will discuss subjects such as effects of pesticides on the bee population and which types of flowering plants best support their nutritional needs.
The workshop will be held in the basement of the Rossland Legion next Thursday, April 12.
It’s for those who want to better accommodate the native pollinators, which help to pollinate many plants like fruit trees and other plants.
Hanne Smith, from Rossland Real Food is helping to facilitate the workshops, as well as taking part.
Smith detailed the subjects of the workshop, which will cover a broad expanse of pollinators and is for anyone interested in making their garden more bee friendly.
Westcott will detail the types of pollinators that live in B.C. and the types that are found around Rossland, as well as the habitat needs and what kind of plants they use for nectar and pollen.
She will also show how to build nests in blocks of wood for the pollinators.
“They’re out there pollinating all of the flowering plants including our food plants,” Smith said. “So they have a huge impact on the human population. We depend on them.”
Westcott will talk about pollinator populations and the problems they face, such as vulnerabilities to pesticides and their descending pollution numbers.
“She will also discuss what we can do to support them,” Smith said, adding that Westcott compiled a list of a lot of plants that are native to the area and could help stabilize the pollinator populations.
The list details how people can create a mixture of plants in their garden that will sustain a variety of native pollinators, which Smith said is mostly made up of some 400 species of bees that inhabit B.C.
“Some look more like flies than bees,” she said.
“Westcott is trying to show that they all have benefits and they don’t all come out at the same time of the season, so if we have plants in the spring, summer and fall, the new plants are providing for those pollinators.”
Westcott will also demonstrate how to build nesting habitats and how to maintain them, which Smith said is very simple.
The indoor portion of the workshop will later be followed by outdoor field days in June, when there are flowers blooming.
Smith has a background in agricultural research, so she said she is very interested in food production and all of the biological factors associated with it.
“I’m very aware that humans are dependent on other living beings for our livelihoods,” she said.
“We’re so intertwined, I think it’s really important to respect that and to be as good of neighbours with the other creatures we can to facilitate their survival.”
The workshop is Thursday April 12 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Rossland Legion Hall basement and is free.