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Wildflower Initiative

In-Hive Pesticides Contamination

From the University of Maryland, a 2016 study focussing on the honeybee colonies’ exposome, a term traditionally used in cancer research. It's defined as the measure of all exposures over an individual’s lifetime and how those exposures relate to health. In their investigation, researchers did not look at individual honeybees but instead treated the colony as a single super-organism basing its results on lifetime exposure to agricultural chemicals. Simply put, these models attempted to summarize potential risk from multiple contaminations in real-world contexts.

Researchers gauged the effect of pesticide exposure not only by looking at the number of pesticides in colonies, but also their toxicological relevance over a specific threshold, as well as through the calculation of a hazard quotient (HQ), which evaluates the cumulative toxicity of various pesticide residues.

Agribusiness Earth's New Superhero? Maybe Not.

Corporate actions happens for many reasons. Sometimes they are tied to economic shifts, other times ephemeral political winds are a trigger or as we all know technological revolutions like transgenics can cause major upheavals. This week two major agribusinesses have taken actions to correct some serious wrongs. Mind you, they are not admitting anything, they're just throwing money at two problems that they contributed to originally. Step in the right direction? Yep. Enough to make a major difference? Nope.

More Bad News for Honeybees

Bayer CropScience just scored a big win on both sides of the Canada/US borders. In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it completed the registration of Bayer’s new pesticide, flupyradifurone. The chemical spray can now be marketed as an alternative to neonicotinoid pesticides and “safer for bees.” Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), also proposed full registration for the sale and use of flupyradifurone. Good news for the honeybees right? Well, not so much. A closer look reveals the EPA and Health Canada may be misleading the public on the ecological safety of pesticide.

What Honeybees Are Telling Us

It’s not the strongest of us that survive. It’s the one that’s willing to evolve and adapt.
Charles Darwin, Naturalist, 1809-1885

I have a fascination with the work of cartoonist Gary Larsen. I probably relate to his humor because as a kid, I believed that all beings -- from whales to guppies, worms or wolves, even the birds and the bees -- at the end of their ‘working’ day would swim, crawl, run or fly home. Once there, they would communicate with their partners, offspring, even neighbours, living much like humans experiencing the good and the bad of it all.

Wildflower Initiative: What Makes Pollen Stick?

Pollen is covered with tiny hook-like spikes which cling to the fine fur which covers a honeybee's body.

The Wildflower Initiative

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
Lady Bird Johnson, 1912-2007

Often referred to as Nature's paintbrush, wildflowers are one of Earth's great stand alones. Fiercely independent, they grow without cultivation. Equally at home in the wild or in your backyard, their colourful pedals evolved over 100 million years in partnership with one of the most important pollinators in the history of humankind -- the honeybee.

Wildflower Initiative: Templates

Edit these templates to reflect your specific request.

a) seeking permission - letter or email:

City, Address

Dear Sirs: We are undertaking an initiative to plant native wildflower seeds in the ____insert area here ______________ on _______insert date here_____________to enhance the growth of native habitats to support our honeybees and other pollinator populations.

Native Wildflowers Zone Maps

Plants evolve over time in response to climate and interactions with other species. Indigenous or native wildflowers possess specific traits that help them uniquely adapt to local conditions. Plants introduced from other parts of the world are referred to as 'naturalized'. Both grow on their own in nature without cultivation.

Wildflowers in Your Area - Zone Maps & Guide Sources

Wildflower Initiative: The Art of the Scatter

Why Scatter Wildflowers Seeds?

There are over 20,000 species of wildflowers in North America belonging to 300 different families adding colour and beauty to our landscapes. But their importance goes well beyond eye candy. Aside from providing quality habitat for pollinators, many native grasses, wildflowers and shrubs are important components when it comes to our physical well being. Hundreds are medicinal herbs and only 10% have been documented.

Wildflower Initiative: Make it a Pollination Party

Start by connecting with nature in a learning way. Take a walk with family and friends to experience the landscape. Look for pollinators in sunny planted areas. Take you time. Watch how they work, but don't startle them. Pollinators happily share in the learning experience as long as you don't get too close.

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