We’re well into bee season, and this week is National Pollinator Week in Canada, celebrating the role of pollinators in Canada’s ecosystems and food production, and boosting education around pollinator issues. Here are a few ideas if you’re looking for ways to help support your local bees:
Plant a bee-friendly garden
If your restaurant boasts outdoor space for a permanent or potted garden, make the best of it. Consider planting bee-friendly plants like lavender, heather, aster, or calendula. Your local bees will thank you for the nectar, and your customers will appreciate the burst of colour. A herb garden can also support foraging bees — try planting thyme, sage, rosemary, mint, and oregano.
Buy pesticide-free produce
Pesticide use is one of the biggest threats to bee populations. Reducing the demand for pesticide-soaked produce is one way to support pollinators. Buy organic or source from a supplier who you trust to use bee-friendly chemicals.
Keep your space clear of predators
Deal with wasp, mouse, and ant infestations promptly, even if they’re only outside, as these species can threaten foraging bees and their colonies. Besides, many an outdoor patio lunch has been ruined by curious wasp visitors.
Become a beekeeper, or offer your space to one
Have an empty rooftop? Consider using the space for a couple of hives. Whether it’s an adventure you want to undertake yourself, or one you’d rather pass along to a seasoned beekeeper, put your rooftop to good use. A little fresh honey for your kitchen is a welcome bonus.