Plant pollinator friendly gardens, postpone removal of habitat and absolutely avoid pesticides and herbicides
Big Leaf Maple, wild cherry, arbutus – all these are fantastic early nectar flows. Salmon berry, oregon grape, willows, hellebores, boxwood all these are incredibly early forage sources for our bees. Big leaf maple in particular – feeds everyone! The honey has a lovely delicate licorice flavour and you can tap them for sap to make West Coast Maple syrup.
Blackberry stands are vital food sources for wild bees as well as honey bees – and the berries are an enormous food resource for birds and other animals. If you must clear blackberries – please wait till after they have flowered; even better, please wait until the berries are done. As mentioned, birds and bears and many other “critters” are depending on the fruit.
SOURWOOD TREES are North American native trees, non-invasive and are happiest in acidic/clay soils. They prefer full sun and growing on the edge of a forest. Best of all they flower in July/August, which for us here on the coast now has become a period where nectar is in short supply. A mature Sourwood tree can produce 300lbs of honey – and the added bonus is that Sourwood honey has repeatedly won gold at Apimondia International honey tasting competitions. Sourwoods are specimen trees, with fragrant white flowers in summer and brilliant red foliage in autumn. Thank you to the District of Sechelt for approving these trees as street and park trees and for the plantings that you are now doing.
If you are interested in getting a sourwood tree – please contact Quality Farms and Garden Supply on Pratt Rd (Lorraine). If you want to see one, there is one planted at the Seaside Centre.
In your garden consider spring and fall nectar and pollen sources – check out the Ministry of Agriculture fact sheet: Food for bees
To all you gardeners out there a huge thank you.
To all of you during summer drought who don’t mow or cut their ditches or lawns and let the dandelions and wild flowers grow. THANK YOU. You are providing a desperately needed food source for all our pollinators.