The bee population needs our help


Each year there is a decrease in bees and it may go unnoticed by most. Some may look at that as a good thing but honey bees don’t sting people, wasps and hornets do. Bees are great benefits to humans for various reasons.

Pollination is important because it helps flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables reproduce. Bees are pollinators and do this by moving pollen from one flower to another helping fertilize the plant. If plants aren’t fertilized they wont be able to reproduce which could eventually become a threat to people.

The decline in bee population has been noticed by farmers since 2006. Major reasons behind the loss of bees are the use of pesticides and loss of habitat. According to David Suzuki, the yellow-banded bumblebee and rusty-tinged bumblebee are two bee populations known to be declining in Canada out of 800 native bees.

People can help bees repopulate by planting their own fruits and vegetables as well as planting flowers says bee keeper, Ian Critchell he adds, encouraging your local city council to push forward in action against pesticides being used helps to. Critchell has wrote into the Bee Association of Canada as well as the township in hopes of some sort of change.

Ian Critchell at his farm in Havelock, Ontario. (2016)

Critchell has been beekeeping for 35 years and now farms in Havelock, Ontario. It was just ten years ago he realized the sudden decline in the bee population. Systemic pesticides are the most harmful for the honeybees he says. He has farmed bees at locations that both use pesticides and do not.

“I’ve watched my bees get sprayed with poison, but what can you do?” he says, “you pick up your bees and move them away”.

Just one trip averaged an hour long one bee could pollinate about 1500 flowers Critchell says.

Honey has many uses. It can be an alternate sweetener or be used in vet clinics to help speed up the growth of cells from being used in band aids. Keeping a strong population of bees is necessary and Critchell says, with bees having a short life span of a few months, focusing on the young is most important.

The actions people take in the next few years will affect the bee population and make a great difference according to Suzuki.





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