The Park Board passed a new motion on Monday night to enhance pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, and butterflies in Vancouver parks (see here: http://former.vancouver.ca/
Community gardens are great pollinator habitats because of the broad range of flowering plants, open soils, and other structures. We’d like to highlight the value of your gardens for pollinators, as well as look for ways to improve habitat value. There are a few easy steps:
1. Select plants in plots and adjacent areas that are pollinator friendly (see resources below). Often this means including a broader range of flowering species (early and late species), as well as using more native species. The top link is based on research at SFU and includes a mix of native and typical garden plants.
2. Overwintering habitats such as mason bee boxes, bumble bee houses, downed logs, and unvegetated sandy soils can also be created in community gardens. The Xerces Society report on Pollinator Friendly Parks has some excellent examples.
3. Wildflower seed mixes are useful for path edges and other uncultivated areas. We have some Western Pollinator Mix from Applewood Seeds that we can provide for small projects this year (let us know if want some); West Coast Seeds also has some good mixes.
Some resources that you might find valuable are:
Dr. Elizabeth Elle Lab (SFU) – Bee Intro & Plant List: http://www.sfu.ca/biology/
Earthwise Society Plant List: http://www.feedthebees.org/wp-
Xerces Society – Pollinator Friendly Parks (pdf): http://www.xerces.org/
Xerces Society – Pollinator Resources: http://www.xerces.org/
Feed the Bees (resources for cities): http://www.feedthebees.org/
Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) – Bee Resources: http://www.eya.ca/bee-
And some interesting examples of Bee Hotels: http://www.inspirationgreen.
Please share with us how your community garden is supporting pollinators – we’d like to hear about your experiences and ideas. Do you have bee lodges and pollinator gardens? What projects do you have planned for this growing season? Send your comments and photos to: PBGreen@vancouver.ca