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Approximately one in every three bites of food we eat comes from the work of pollinators like honey bees

Springtime in B.C. brings with it a wonderful supporting cast—long days, cherry blossoms and unfettered hiking schedules are just a few of its players.

It’s also the perfect time to start planning your garden, and this spring offers an opportunity to cultivate a vibrant, pollinator-friendly space.

Statistics Canada indicates that honey bee populations are at their highest levels in over a decade. The number of honey bee colonies in Canada have grown from under 600,000 in 2003 to over 800,000 in 2016. With so many honey bees and hives, it’s important to maintain a healthy environment for them.

It’s estimated that one in every three bites of food we eat comes from the work of pollinators like honey bees. It’s a symbiotic, mutually-beneficial relationship; when we provide for honey bees, they provide for us.

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A single hive can house over 60,000 honey bees, who will visit around 225,000 flowers each day. Therefore, they require a significant number of nutritious food sources to keep the hive healthy, but inadequate food sources present a common challenge to honey bee health. Planting pollinator-friendly gardens is one way that Canadians can help.

So what are the keys to maintaining a healthy, booming pollinator-friendly garden? Bees Matter is here to help answer that question. The agricultural partnership has a vested interest in honey bee health and is offering free seed packets to help Canadians grow their own pollinator-friendly gardens.

Selected with recommendations from Pollinator Partnership Canada, the seeds in the Buzzing Garden seed kits grow into plants that are irresistible to pollinators. The flowers produced by these seeds also bloom in different seasons, supporting a robust food source for honey bees and other pollinators.

When starting your Buzzing Garden, sprinkle the seeds in an area with rich soil and lots of natural light and gently rake over them with loose soil. The plants in the seed packets are native to Canada’s climate, so as long as you equip them with enough sunlight, water and fertile soil to survive, you should enjoy gorgeous flowers throughout the summer.

Pollinators and flowering plants are natural partners. By planting these seeds, you’re doing your part to help support pollinators like honey bees across Canada.