Dr. Elizabeth Elle, a Simon Fraser University professor specializing in biodiversity gives a public lecture on the status of honey and native bees and what we can do to make our community a more bee friendly place. What I find particularly interesting is her discussion of native bees. My hope is to become more accurate in my native bee identification this year. Particularly the mining, leaf cutting and sweat bees. In Vancouver the Blue Orchard Mason Bee (agf.gov.bc.ca/apiculture/factsheets/506_osmia.htm) and Bumble Bee species (xerces.org/western-bumble-bee/) are fairly easy to identify. Later in the year I will do a posting specifically on native bee identification.
Dr. Elle has worked with the Environmental Youth Alliance which facilitates youth based sustainability programs in Vancouver and 15 countries internationally. The Environmental Youth Alliance manage a garden within our community garden in which they have a top bar bee hive. They also have two hives at a Mt. Pleasant garden in Vancouver where they run an annual beekeeping program for youth (eya.ca/urban-apiculture.html). This is a great way for young people in the Vancouver area to get initiated into beekeeping.
Please visit this website (operationbee.com/actnow/banpesticides.html) and sign the petition to the United Nations to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides which are toxic to bees (http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot.com/2011/10/insecticides-and-bees.html).