City of Calgary declared Bee City, promotes pollinators

A bee on a flower in a Calgary garden

Calgary has committed to supporting wild bees and pollinators across a number of departments, as part of being declared a Bee City.

There are a total of 38 Bee Cities in Canada with Chestermere and Airdrie joining Calgary as the three Alberta representatives on the list.

"We need to demonstrate that we're working toward making it easier for pollinators to thrive in our city," said Ward 7 Councillor Druh Farrell.

The city will continue to support a pilot project along Canyon Meadows Drive — between Bow Bottom Trail and Macleod Trail — where native grasses and wildflowers have been planted to support bee species.

Farrell says Calgary residents can play a role in helping pollinators. "Stopping spraying (pesticides) is one (way to help), and creating diversity in our garden instead of a mono-cultural lawn."

Officials with Bee City point out that while honeybees get a lot of attention, moths, flies and wild bees are also pollinators in need of increased habitat.

"The native bees, which we don't monitor, which we don't manage they're in more serious decline and many are at a point of extinction," said Shelly Candel, director of Bee City Canada.

Recent studies show populations of both honeybees and wild bees are under threat in urban areas and from pesticide overuse.

Farrell says the city will host Pollinator in the late spring.