Mark L. Winston is the author of "Bee Time:Lessons from the Hive". He has had a distinguished career researching, teaching, writing and commenting on bees and agriculture, environmental issues, and science policy. His website The Hive has information on bees.
Crown Bees has information on alternatives to honey bees in their Learn section
“Guide to Beekeeping for Adults and Kids” has interesting information from the history of bee keeping to information on modern day bee keeping.
Pollinators of Southern British Columbia is an article with bee information posted on the Pollination Ecology Lab at SFU
“Why Bees and Pollination Are So Important” is and interesting article on the subject with many links that cover a variety of topics about pollinators.
Bees and Neonicotinoids
Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine used on crops all over the world.
A 2014 study released by Friends of the Earth Canada, Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Pesticide Research Institute (PRI) showed that:
- more than half of garden plants sampled in the U.S and Canada contain levels of neonicotinoid pesticides harmful to bees, other pollinator insects and birds.
- Nurseries commonly apply neonicotinoids as soil injections, granular or liquid soil treatments, foliar sprays (applied to leaves), and seed treatments. Water-soluble pesticides such as neonicotinoids are readily absorbed by plant roots and transported systemically in the plant’s vascular system to other portions of the plant, including roots, pollen, leaves, stems, and fruit.
- Plants treated with neonicotinoids continue exuding these pesticides in pollen and nectar for months to years after initial treatment.
To view the full 2014 study click here.
In 2015, Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Pesticide Research Institute released “Growing Bee-Friendly Garden Plants: Profiles In Innovations”, a report that profiles the strategies used by nursery and greenhouse growers to reduce or eliminate their use of neonicotinoid insecticides on garden plants.
Both study suggest that consumers ask nursery owners whether or not the plants they sell are treated with neonicotinoids or are labeled as such.
For more information click on the links below:
BC Honey Producers to Hold neonicotinoid insecticide discussion.
Friends of the Earth Bee-Cause
Friends of the Earth "Growing Bee-Friendly Garden Plants" Report
Nature article " Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.
The importance of Bees research article by Katie Kress
Border Free Bees is a long-term public art initiative inVancouver, Richmond and Kelowna to raise awareness of the plight of wild pollinators, empower communities to actively engage in solutions for habitat loss and transform under-utilized urban sites into aesthetically pleasing and scientifically viable pollinator pastures.
Bumble Bee Watch is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees.
The Elephants and Bees Project is an innovative study using an in-depth understanding of elephant behaviour to reduce damage from crop-raiding elephants using their instinctive avoidance of African honey bees. The project explores the use of novel Beehive Fences as a natural elephant deterrent creating a social and economic boost to poverty-stricken rural communities through pollination services and the sustainable harvesting of “Elephant-Friendly Honey”.