Everyone has a role to play in making sure there is an abundant supply of pollination habitat in Guelph.
Pollination Guelph held an information session and workshop in Market Square Tuesday evening, with education and awareness material on display aimed at increasing the pollination options in the city.
The city’s Bee Hotel was also on display, with children encouraged to help finish off the “Air Bee and Bee” that will be placed on City Hall’s green rooftop.
“It’s important to have habitat throughout the city. It’s important to have habitat in your backyard as well as in natural parks,” said Victoria MacPhail, the co-chair of Pollination Guelph.
MacPhail said many pollinators are very tiny and can’t travel big distances, making it important to have an abundance of pollinator habitats available.
While pollinators extend beyond bees, she pointed out that many bees don’t live in large hives or colonies. They lay their eggs in small spaces: logs, bricks, earth, moss.
“We need stepping stones across the city,” MacPhail said.
“Honey bees are awesome … but there are actually over 500 different types of bees in Ontario alone,” she said.
They all have different needs and different preferences, stressing the need for variety in pollinator gardens and habitat.
“Those social bees are actually pretty rare,” she said of the traditional image of a hive of bees
Pollination Guelph is a 10-year-old non-profit organization in Guelph made up of people dedicated to the conservation and development of pollinator habitat, engaging in awareness, education and understanding initiatives.
They are also leading the charge to see Guelph become an official Bee City.
City Council voted unanimously recently in support of pursuing the Bee City designation, which would join the organization Bee City Canada, a charitable organization aimed at inspiring municipalities, school, businesses and other organizations to protect pollinators.
They do this by enhancing and protecting pollination habitats, celebrating pollinators and education initiatives.
Council is expected to finalize the Bee City move at the end of the month.
“It’s one thing to say we’re something, but it’s another thing to kind of live it out and actually do the things we bee-lieve in (pun intended),” said mayor Cam Guthrie, who came dressed for the occasion in a bee costume.