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

BCSS grads come home to celebrate 50 years

*Hairstyles and outfits may have changed since graduation

Boundary District Arts Council folds amid financial questions

The last board took over in November and could not find receipts for $8,000 in spending

Residents push Grand Forks council to support with flood buyouts

Staff estimate a $6.6 million difference between pre and post-flood value for Grand Forks buyouts

MP warns of scam after catching Facebook Messenger imposter account

Wayne Stetski issues warning about an imposter messenger account that is using his profile photo

Grand Forks mulls in-kind options to support flood buyout residents

$6.6 million difference between pre and post-flood value for Grand Forks buyouts

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

B.C. removes personal limits for bringing home out-of-province alcohol

Previous relgulations placed limits on the amount of liquor that B.C. residents could bring home

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read