Work­horses of na­ture, bees need our help

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - INTELLIGENCER STAFF

When it comes to flow­ers, field crops, fruit and veg­eta­bles, our na­tive bees are the work­horses of the pol­li­na­tor world. Res­i­dents can find out more on Jan­uary 24 in Ivan­hoe, when the Hast­ings Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil hosts the first event in its 2019 Win­ter Speaker Se­ries - Na­tive Bees in On­tario: In­tro­duc­tion, Chal­lenges, and Ac­tion.

Bee ad­vo­cate Susan Wil­lis Chan will present an in­trigu­ing story of di­ver­sity, star­ring our na­tive bees. Af­ter years of bee re­search and field work, Chan has many pho­tos to share and sto­ries to tell about bee be­hav­iour and the ser­vices bees pro­vide to our back­yards and farm crops.

Na­tive bees are fac­ing big chal­lenges in agri­cul­tural en­vi­ron­ments. Chan will ex­plain the for­ag­ing sce­nar­ios pro­vided by farm crops, and the pur­pose­ful pol­li­na­tor habi­tat cre­ated by farm­ers and oth­ers. The ef­fects of in­sec­ti­cide ex­po­sure on bees, as well as pes­ti­cide ex­po­sure routes will be il­lus­trated.

As past pro­gram man­ager at Farms at Work ( www.farm­sat­work.ca), Chan has worked with many landown­ers to help cre­ate and pre­serve healthy habi­tat for na­tive bees, as her slides will demon­strate. Her tips for at­tract­ing bees and other ben­e­fi­cial in­sects to your prop­erty will help you cre­ate ef­fec­tive habi­tat for these nat­u­ral pol­li­na­tors. Chan will also share new sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion from her own bee re­search.

Chan is now work­ing full time on her Ph. D. at the Univer­sity of Guelph while teach­ing Sus­tain­able Agri­cul­ture at Trent Univer­sity. She has a back­ground in agri­cul­ture, en­vi­ron­men­tal bi­ol­ogy ( pol­li­na­tion), and ed­u­ca­tion.

Join Hast­ings Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil for Na­tive Bees in On­tario on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 7 p. m to 9 p. m. at the Hunt­ing­ton Vet­er­ans Com­mu­nity Hall, 11379 High­way 62, in Ivan­hoe, north of Belleville. An en­trance fee of $ 5 per per­son ( or a do­na­tion) will help cover costs. Chil­dren are free.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Ray Well­man at 613- 8487697 or [email protected]­ingsstew­ard-ship.ca. For the Win­ter Speaker Se­ries lineup, visit hast­ingsstew­ard­ship.ca.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO BY SUSAN CHAN

Bee ad­vo­cate Susan Chan will be the guest speaker at the Hast­ings Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil’s Win­ter Speaker Se­ries event later this month. Dur­ing her talk, Chan will dis­cuss how res­i­dents can make their prop­er­ties more bee friendly such as through the use of bee ho­tels, pic­tured above.

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