Today, May 20, is World Bee Day, which is why I’m sharing an image of some of these industrious pollinators hard at work in my garden. The flower is Papaver somniferum, a poppy species which self-sows freely each summer, thanks to the effort of the many bees that visit our garden throughout the growing season.
World Bee Day was first proposed on the international stage by Slovenia, and after three years of work by that nation and the world’s beekeepers, it was proclaimed unanimously by the United Nations – giving bees and other pollinators the recognition they deserve. You can learn more about the initiative here.
Bees are essential to our agriculture and food security – in short, to human survival – yet they’re increasingly endangered. I’ve written before about neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides that have had particularly nasty impacts on bees.
The European Union has banned the use of three of the worst neonics and is considering further restrictions. But here in Canada, while our government has said it will ban them, it won’t do so for another three to five years – perhaps too late for many of our bees. Ironically, Canada is a co-sponsor of World Bee Day. Go figure!
If you’d like to speak out, here’s a simple tool for sending a message to Prime Minister Trudeau that bees can’t wait another three to five years for Canada to take action.