Hon. Marty Klyne: Thank you, Senator Boisvenu, for the awareness and for the call to action.
Honourable senators, I have just one question for you: Can you “bee-lieve” it?
Do you feel a buzz in the air? You are not imagining things. Friday is coming, and it’s World Bee Day. If you are not familiar with World Bee Day, it is a celebration that occurs annually on May 20, and its purpose is to celebrate and raise awareness of bees and other pollinators and the important role they play in our ecosystem.
As we all know, bees carry pollen from one flower to another, but they do much more than that. Bees aid in the production of fruits, seeds, nuts and, of course, honey. In fact, a 2015 study by the Senate’s highly regarded Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry noted that of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees. That gives you a sense of just how much we rely upon bees to help feed the world.
Unfortunately, bee populations across the globe are in decline. A combination of the overuse of pesticides, changing farming practices and higher temperatures associated with global warming have led to a sharp drop in bee populations.
This is a threat not just to the bees themselves, but to the crops we depend upon for everyday use. It is a global problem, and Canada must do more to reverse this trend. A sting from a bee may hurt, but the long decline of pollinating species will hurt us much more in the long run.
Honourable senators, when it comes to the protection of Canada’s bee population, it is all of our “beeswax.” We need to do more as a country to protect bees both here in Canada and across the world.
I call on the Government of Canada to do everything it can to promote the health and sustainability of Canada’s bee population, and I hope that everyone in this chamber will join me in celebrating World Bee Day on May 20. Thank you.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!