I want to pay homage to these incredible animals. Although there are many different pollinators on Earth, bees do the vast majority of pollination. Bees are certainly one of the most important pollinators in the plant world. From their buzz to their stingers, bees often inspire fear. Shunned as pests, these troupers lend nature, and us, a big hand. They never ask for a raise and will work for food, – the nectar and pollen that will be turned into our honey and their winter stores. Locally in BC, there are at least 450 species of bees.
Some of my most precious childhood memories are around gardening. Growing up, my father had a large vegetable garden and many fruit trees when we lived in Winnipeg. He had a compost pile and in those days, that was quite unusual compared to our neighbours. I loved the idea of our food scraps and lawn clippings nurturing our vegetable bounty rather than the use of any chemical. Although the compost did have a somewhat unpleasant odour and appearance, it was magic to our garden, the plants loved it! No other vegetables were as tasty as a salad made from ingredients harvested minutes earlier! My father had an impressive variety of vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, and many more he planted every year; plants like strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb; and fruit trees like apples, plums and crabapples. In those days, much of the produce in the store came from far away and was quite expensive. There was not the variety in stores we can find today and what was available was not very appealing. My father’s garden provided us with delicacies you could not buy as well as well as more delicious options for those items in the store.