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WHO IS THE INVISIBLE FARMER?

WHO IS THE INVISIBLE FARMER?

When we talk and think about producing food, rarely do we thank the invisible farmer who does some of the most critical work for us. This invisible farmer is the honey bee. Honey bees are essential to our food system and the health of our environment, which means they are inherently critical to our well-being. Unfortunately, humankind has not done well at respecting this relationship over the past few years. With the introduction of harmful synthetic pesticides in agriculture, increasing weather abnormalities due to human-caused climate change, and the loss of habitat due to urbanization, bees are facing increasing challenges to perform their job.

 

Luckily for us, honey bees are forgiving and resilient. There are simple ways that we can improve our relationship with them and celebrate why they are so special to us and our environment!

 

Why Are Honey Bees So Important

 

Honey bees have benefits to our immune system, our food system, and to our environment. For our immune system, eating local honey can help fight seasonal allergies since the honey is sourced from local plants. When it comes to our food system, a third of our food relies on the pollination- A THIRD! Without honey bees, our diets would be a lot less diverse. Lastly, honey bees are imperative to greening our environment. There are many plant species that are dependent on the work of these tiny pollinators in order to reproduce and diversify.

 

What Is SPUD Doing About It?

 

Urban environments are actually very beneficial to honey bees due to anti-pesticide laws within cities, untapped floral diversity and the plethora of unused roofs which are perfect habitats for hives. This month, SPUD HQ installed a hive on our roof in partnership with fellow B Corp, Alveole. This partnership will introduce more bees to our area as well as provide SPUD with local honey! Our team was very excited to welcome our new neighbours.

 

 

 

What Can YOU Do About It?

 

You can support bees in a variety of ways! You can connect with a local organization like Aveole to set up a beehive in your own backyard, you can buy local honey to support local beekeepers, or you can plant flowers that bees like. According to West Coast Seeds, some of the best flowers to plant include:

 


Zinnia:
By planting multiple varieties, the garden is made richer as an ecosystem, but the bees are also offered a much longer period in which to feed.

Centaurea:
This flower is easy to grow and the flowers are edible! Try them in a summer salads

Cosmos:
This is another easy to grow annual. Simply remove spent flowers and the plants will continue to bloom all summer.

 

 

Together, we can be part of the solution by making our communities a more supportive and welcoming home to our invisible farmers.

 

If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, learn more here!:

 

 

 

 

Michelle Austin

Michelle is SPUD's Marketing and Sustainability Coordinator. She believes a sustainable food system is the key to creating a environmentally-friendly and just world. You can often find her in the mountains biking, hiking or skiing.

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