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A quintessential sign of spring is a busy bee happily buzzing from blossom to blossom. While spring is now in full swing across Canada, the presence of those dependable pollinators is becoming more and more uncertain.
Our research team is focused on assessing the status of wild pollinators, understanding the threats they face and working to conserve species at risk of extinction before it's too late.
Declines - Nature - Lover
What we've learned about bee declines may surprise even the most avid nature lover.
Pollinator declines have become one of the most talked about environmental issues. While media, policy and public discourse have focused on neonicotinoid pesticides and the loss of European honeybees, the story of bee decline is much more complex than that.
Canada - Species - Bees - Majority - Species
In Canada, we have more than 850 species of native bees, and the vast majority of those species have not been assessed to properly understand how they are faring in the wild. None of our native bees make honey. Most are solitary (that is they don't live in hives), most live underground and many cannot sting.
They come in an array of colours including blue, metallic silver and green. Each of our native bee species has their own nesting and foraging needs. Some live in grasslands, others in forests. Some have adapted well to our urban, built environments. They each react to various threats differently.
Honeybees - Management - Issues - Exposure - Neonicotinoids
While honeybees have their own management issues (including exposure to neonicotinoids in agricultural landscapes), we must understand that they are imported to North America for human benefit to produce honey and pollinate large farms. Some people keep honeybees as a hobby. They are not at risk of extinction and they can even negatively impact wild bee populations and plant communities.
The idea of promoting honeybees to conserve declining bees can be likened to throwing millions of Asian carp (an invasive species) into...
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