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What’s the buzz? Calgary bees getting help with natural habitat restoration

DYK: There are more than 300 species of bees in Alberta and their populations have been in slow decline for years.

A number of things are causing bee population loss: Climate change, use of pesticides and human development, among others.


Bees are specialists and each species of bee pollinates different plants and crops. If one species of bee dies, the plants and crops it pollinates will also die, causing more insects to die and so on.

“They’re dependent on one another. There’s a symbiotic relationship,” said Shelly Candel, President of Bee City Canada.

Candel started Bee City Canada in 2016. Since then Canada has gathered 39 official bee cities, with Calgary being number 36.

Calgary became a Bee City on December 19, 2019.

Being a Bee City means that the city is aware of what they plant to make the right food and habitats for bees as well as engaging the community to protect bees.

In 2017, City of Calgary Roads and Parks departments came together will Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and the David Suzuki Foundation to create the Canyon Meadows Bee Boulevard.

The project’s purpose was to create habitats for pollinators.

The bee boulevards are working but habitat restoration and converting old places that were once manicured takes time. Constant maintenance is required so new vegetation and native plants can grow.

The City of Calgary currently has more than 35 habitat restoration projects in various stages of completion. Many of these support pollinator habitats.

Graphic by: Cassie Jamieson