Sparrow and Finch Gardening How gardening will boost local bees, food production

How gardening will boost local bees, food production

The growing of food in cities is one method to reduce problems with food security and can lead to people revisiting the concept that they can plant ” victory gardens.” However, people who aren’t experts may not be aware that gardeners depend on insects that live in the wild to help the gardens flourish. They require flies, bees, butterflies, bees, and other insects to eat pollen from one plant and then transfer it to a different flower. This is why I recommend we plant a different kind of garden, resilient gardens.

Insects perform the work

Food gardening is gaining momentum across the globe thanks to both grass-roots or government programs taking root.

In Canada, certain provinces have considered community gardens to be vital services. City workers in Victoria, B.C., are growing tens of thousands of vegetable seedlings to be used by residents as well as community gardens. In other cities, an increase in seeds and seedlings orders has caused stores to be overwhelmed by the rapid rise the demand.

However, gardening is a process that requires pollinators. Around three quarters of the food plants we grow depend on pollination by insects, which includes staples such as cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and peppers. Without them, farmers have to use expensive and labor-intensive technological solutions.

Read more: The coronavirus reveals the necessity of Canada’s migrant workers

As a conservation scientist, I find it striking that city-dwellers expect free pollination services, despite the limited action taken in the past to conserve the insects that do the work . Building diverse and abundant communities of native pollinators, in cities and on farmland, will be critical to buffer food shortfalls now and in the future.

Inviting wild pollinators to come into the garden

Despite having more than 850 indigenous varieties of bee, Canada has relied on the non-native common European honeybee ( Apis mellifera) for many years to aid in fertilization and pollination to crops in vast-scale agricultural fields.

In urban areas, beekeeping companies have encouraged the placement of beehives on roofs and in natural areas despite the worries of conservation biologists like myself regarding their impact on native pollinators and the plant communities.

In actual fact, the future and longevity of food production is dependent greatly on the existence of different kinds of pollinating insects. Their crucial role However, their importance is often ignored in favor of promoting and assisting industries like honeybees.

The bumble bee was once widespread and prevalent throughout the eastern region of North America, the rusty-patched Bumble Bee has experienced the most dramatic decrease across its entire area of coverage. (Susan Carpenter) Author supplied (no reuse)

Although the effect of honeybees that are managed is a subject of debate however, there are numerous studies that show they are strong competitions and are able to transmit diseases in native pollinators. For instance, researchers have attributed the spread of new diseases in managed bees to the massive decline in the threatened Rusty-patched Bumblebee along with other previously widespread bumblebee species that can be long-term, yet not known, effects on pollination of native plants agriculture crops and the urban food security.

The next wave of resilience gardens:

In each of the First and Second World Wars, Canadians established victory gardens of plants in yards of homes in order to boost the local production of food to help soldiers overseas. The name alone evokes memories of battles fought. Later in the Great Depression, they planted relief gardens.


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