NCO to release research on ways to increase bee populations in Niagara

They’re often sworn at, swatted and slapped, but without them, plant life as we know it could cease to exist.

With bee populations in Niagara and beyond dropping because of habitat loss and use of poisonous insecticides, helping the region’s 150 species of wild bees is an important task.

Bees fertilize crops by collecting pollen from blossom to blossom and redistributing the pollen to other plants.

“Pollen is to plants what sperm is to animals — the male gametes that are required for fertilization and production of seeds,” says Brock University Professor of Biology Miriam Richards.

Richards is the author of the Niagara Community Observatory’s latest research brief, Promoting Pollinators: Niagara Bees and How to Help Them.

The NCO brief describes the wild bee situation in Niagara, as well as simple measures that can be taken to boost their numbers.

“Bees command a functionally significant and economically vital role in our lives,” says Charles Conteh, Director of the Niagara Community Observatory.

“From the analysis and recommendations put forward by Professor Richards in this policy brief, regional and local municipalities, along with other Niagara residents, can engage in a concerted effort to rethink land-use planning and calibrate our approach to the surrounding habitats,” he says.

Richards will be presenting her bee research brief at Brock University on Tuesday, May 7, followed by a question-and-answer session on key themes and points.

What: Promoting Pollinators: Niagara Bees and How to Help Them
Who: Miriam Richards, Professor of Biology and brief author
When: Tuesday, May 7, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Where: Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, Room 207
RSVP: Carol Phillips,

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