Building Bridges Between People & Pollinators

Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm

Red belted bumble bee on goldenrod

Workshop Description

There are more bees than honey bees and more pollinators than bees.  More plant diversity equals more native pollinator diversity.  Join Kim and Jennifer to learn more about the importance of pollinators for healthy ecosystems (including food production), both rural and urban.  The importance of connecting rural and urban spheres will be emphasized.

Topics covered will include:

  • distinguishing between honey bees and three kinds of native bees
  • why bee populations are declining and why pollination is important
  • good practices for ‘Bee Friendly Farming’ including the key steps to creating and maintaining appropriate pollinator habitat on farms.
  • how pollinators link rural and urban spaces
  • why these links are critically important
    • For example, current research points to cities as important refuges for native bee species
  • introducing the Bee City initiatives in Canada and the USA and what it means to be a bee friendly city

Photos below left to right…

  • Squash bee
  • Two long horned bees in a white chrysanthemum
  • A red belted bumble bee
Squash Bee
Two long horned bees in white chrysanthemum
Red Belted Bumble Bee

Speakers: Kim Fellows & Jennifer Marshman

For the past seven years, Kim has worked for Seeds of Diversity Canada (SoDC) as the outreach coordinator for a project called Pollination Canada.  SoDC is dedicated to the conservation of agricultural and horticultural biodiversity, to create resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.

An interesting project Kim was involved with was implementing a living ‘fence-hedge’ around the Hope and Unity Community Garden in Kitchener, ON, as a result of her presentation to garden members, on organic pest control.  The Pollinator Fedge strives to mimic the natural ecosystem, creating a swath of mainly native, perennial, fruit- and nut-bearing trees and shrubs, wildflowers, herbs, native grasses, ground covers and vines around the community garden. The Pollinator Fedge provides food and habitat for wild pollinators, as well as other insects and birds, thus increasing the biodiversity of the area, which enables healthy soils for growing food.

She has also been involved with expanding Bee Friendly Farming into Canada in 2012, the Sustainable Food Systems Dialogues series at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, ON, and has made many presentations to community garden groups, naturalist clubs, horticultural clubs, school groups, at conferences and to municipal government bodies.

Fellows Headshot for 2019 300 400 w

Jennifer is a PhD candidate with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University.  She has studied and conducted food systems research at the post-secondary level since 2012.

She has also been a member of two different organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in Waterloo Region since 2011.

She is also the Founding Director of the Gleaners Guild food recovery group of Waterloo Region, and has partnered in the past with five different organic farmers in Waterloo Region for gleaning.

Jenn Marshman