Sun. May 28th, 2023

Bee Aware

Sep 2, 2020
beautiful beauty bee bloom

My goal is to raise awareness and educate the community about endangered pollinators.

By Conne Xie

Leaders carry the expectations of keeping the community safe and inclusive while creating changes when required. My experience these past four years as a community leader has given me the honour of meeting a diverse range of people who patiently taught me how to improve my abilities in this endeavour.

Over the past several months, the BWC team was created. We have taken the opportunity to decorate a roundabout in the South Vancouver area and turn it into a bee garden. The garden will include more than just specific pollinator flowers: there will be posters detailing the challenges bees face and the steps being taken to alleviate the concerns.

This is just the first step. The final project will include an infographic display and a Bee garden. Anybody can volunteer and contribute to this project, as one of the goals of the BWC is to be as inclusive as possible by encouraging involvement and supporting local businesses. Currently, the BWC is working with local farmer market Hives for Humanities and neighbourhood houses to support one another. 

brown wooden crate with bees
Photo by Timothy Paule II on

Note that I am no bee lover per se. Yes, I still run away when the furry creature flies my way; but in a different light, I realize that these creatures mean more to the environment than we thought. Other than the honey bees, who hold a monetary value, mud bees, bumblebees, and all the other species face extinction.

Bees face a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which most of the worker bees in a colony suddenly disappear and never return, leaving behind a few nurse bees, immature bees, and the queen, causing the entire colony to perish. Certain factors that may cause CCD include pathogens, loss of habitat, stress and dangerous pesticides.

New diseases such as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) and the gut parasite Nosema can also play a role in CCD. Colony Collapse Disorder can also occur from pesticides in agriculture, pathogens and diseases in beehives, environmental stress, and loss of territory. Beekeepers and entomologists know that pesticides, pathogens, and diseases negatively impact bee populations around the world, causing a significant decrease of bees each year.

Therefore, no single pathogen can severely affect the current number of worker bees abandoning their hives and leaving them to die. With technology and society becoming more advanced and growing rapidly each day, the number of stress bees experience due to their living environments are astonishing. With all these factors combined, it has caused many hives to collapse around the world. As the bee populations continue to decline, a greater threat looms over global agriculture as 33% of the food we eat is only available because of pollinators like bees. 

macro photography of bee sipping on liquid
Photo by Skitterphoto on

This is where BWC’s community bee garden hopes to help. Humans are beginning to take over more natural land through urban development and farming. Monocultures increase production to feed the unceasing human population, however, these plants do not need pollinators like bees in order to reproduce since they depend on the wind. This makes bees useless and unable to find food, as a result, many of them die.

Turning a backyard into a bee-friendly garden or planting small flower gardens on rooftops of buildings can give bees a place to pollinate and find food. Having a small garden with plenty of flowers in your backyard helps bee colonies more than farmland does. Moreover, one of the largest threats to bees is the lack of safe habitats. By planting a bee garden, you create a safe place for bees to build their homes while finding a variety of nutritious food sources from the plants that are rich in pollen and nectar. 

My passion to enact change in areas the community needs to pay attention to has allowed me to inspire others to do the same. During January of 2020, the Buzzing with the Community project was merely a dream to me, a ‘bee vision’. However, by March, I gained the favour of Neighborhood Small Grants and had my project funded. From there, I began recruiting and soon enough the BWC team was created. The creation of the project included months of planning and the road ahead of BWC is still long and winding.

11 thoughts on “Bee Aware”
  1. Thank you for writing this piece and spreading awareness, it is well written. I learnt a couple things while reading this. I learnt about the diseases that bees can get and how it can affect their lives and what they do. I also learned that in order for bees to pollinate we need to make sure that they have proper habitats and have a good nurturing environment.

  2. This is an inspiring article Connie, it helped me be more aware of how bees are important to not just themselves but most of the animals in the world including us. Thank you 🙂

  3. I am glad that you are helping dedicating this to the bees! They are just doing there job, if we didnt have them we wouldn’t have the sweet foods we eat ever day!

  4. its great how Conne Xie cares so much of the bee and even tho they were scared when it comes near them. but they decided to make a bee garden in south Vancouver which i thought was pretty cool of them to do so

  5. Connie did an excellent job with raising awareness for the bees. The article was full of details on how bees are slowly becoming endangered.

  6. thank you Connie for the well written article, it is very informative about the endangered species of bees and it really gets me thinking of other animals not just us. Now that i am informed about the bees i will try to make a garden in my backyard in order to do my part.

  7. Although I am no bee lover, I am aware and always thinking about them and how important they are. Thank you Conne Xie, for sharing this information and informing us about this topic.

  8. Well written Connie! Thank you for informing us on the huge impact bees are to us, even when they have their own struggles.

  9. Thank you Connie for the informative article about bees. I personally really enjoyed reading this article I thought it was very helpful way to spread awareness about the endangerment about bees. I appreciate how this article got right to the point.

  10. this article teaches us a lot about what bees can do and what bees can support human life like how the article shows what bees can really do and not just do what we think they do

  11. Thank you Connie for bringing awareness to this topic. It was fascinating how you spoke about bees getting such a disease. This article truly explained how bees play a major role in supporting human life.

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