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

Rapping mom busts rhymes for Castlegar rec centre kid’s drop-in

Funny video with important message about importance of service

Grand Forks march organized to mark day of remembrance and action on violence against women

Boundary Women’s Coalition invites the public to gather at the women’s resource centre on Dec. 6

Grand Forks wool producer looks to spin up more local business

Gabriele Bialon is hoping to make wool production more feasible for Boundary farmers

New system to keep Nakusp-area snowmobilers, caribou from meeting

GPS tracking keeps caribou safe while opening up the backcountry for sledding

Weather warning for West Kootenay passes

Up to 20 cm expected to fall at higher elevations

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read