Let It Bee Taking Action to Protect Wild Bees

The Problem

More than two-thirds of our food crops depend on bees. But Canada, like the rest of the world, is losing its bees to habitat loss, pesticides, climate change and disease. Honey bees have loyal keepers to speak for them. Wild native bees need a voice too. You can be their voice.

You Can Help if You Just Let It Bee

Community gardens, parks and landscaped areas are important places for wild native bees. Canada has more than 800 species of wild native bees, 40 of which are bumble bees. Your own backyard could have 50 different species of wild native bees. Here are three easy actions to make your yard a safe place where bees can thrive.

  1. Provide homes for bees by leaving old stems, sticks and decaying wood.
  2. Leave sunny areas of ground mulch-free so they can burrow.
  3. Plant at least three flowering native plants to provide nectar and pollen in spring, summer and fall. Bumble bees like white, yellow, blue and purple flowers.

Take the Pledge to Let It Be

I will make the bees a friendly home, by planting a Bee & Bee in my yard or on my balcony, and by learning how to make it safe for bees.

Sign the Pledge

Sheila Colla on the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee

(August 2, 2016 podcast) Bee expert Professor Sheila Colla, York University tells CBC Ontario Morning host Wei Chen, more about the decline of the Rusty-patched bumble bee and the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause Team and Fletcher Wildlife Garden's senior volunteer are out counting bumble bees and talk about the importance of the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count. Bumble bees are at their peak right now. Come on out and take a bumble bee picture for the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count.  Listen to the podcast from 18:30.

Gardeners urged to 'let it be'

CBC News-Ottawa reporter Simon Gardner joined the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause team at Fletcher Wildlife Garden to learn more about the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count. Read the article here.

A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee

Everyone has heard about bee declines, but with so much attention focused on domesticated honeybees, someone has to speak up for the 4,000 species of native bees in North America. Natural history photographer Clay Bolt is on a multi-year quest to tell the stories of our native bees, and one elusive species – the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee – has become his white whale. Traveling from state to state in search of the Rusty-patched, he meets the scientists and conservationists working tirelessly to preserve it. Clay’s journey finally brings him to Wisconsin, where he comes face to face with his quarry and discovers an answer to the question that has been nagging him: why save a species? View the video here