Pollinator experts to share best practices at Earthwise event

Earthwise Society will be hosting three pollinator experts to speak about native pollinators and what everyday gardeners can do to provide a healthy habitat for them.

The session is set for Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Earthwise Garden in Boundary Bay.

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With spring just a month away, many pollinators will be back hard at work collecting nectar and pollen over the next month. Native pollinators are important for gardens and ecosystems for a number of reasons. Roughly 90 per cent of flowering plants require pollinators to set seed, so pollinators are important for all gardens.

In many cases, native pollinators are able to pollinate plants more efficiently than honeybees. For example, the industrious mason bee, a stingless native bee that could be mistaken for a fly, carries pollen on its abdomen.

People can help mason bees by putting up mason bee condos and cocoons in their gardens.

Julia Common, chief beekeeper at Hives for Humanity, will be the keynote speaker and will provide a presentation about native pollinators, the ecological services provided by pollinators and what you can do to help boost the declining bee population.

Ian Tait will then give a short talk about the local Feed the Bees program and how you can get involved. This will be followed by a presentation on the technical aspects of maintaining a mason bee condo by David Robinson and a guided garden tour to explore the world of mason bees and discover some of the best beefriendly plants.

Tickets are $10 per person or $20 for a family. They can be bought at www.earthwisesociety.bc.ca, by calling 604-946-9828 or emailing education@earthwisesociety.bc.ca.

Mason bee kits complete with a condo and mason bee cocoons can be reserved in advance for $25 or at the event for $35 on a first come, first served basis.

Money raised at the event will be reinvested in Earthwise Society charitable programs.

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