4-H kids across the country have been helping create bee friendly habitats.

The Proud to Bee a 4-H'er initiative is a collaborative effort between 4-H Canada and Syngenta Canada, and saw members distribute 15,000 pollinator friendly seed packets this year.

Stewardship and Policy Manager with Syngenta Canada, Dr. Paul Hoekstra, said the seed mix has a diverse mix of perennial and annual wildflowers.

"The seed mix provides a mixture of floral types, pollen types, nectar for bees. It has a bloom window that goes the entire season, so it's not just one crop or one seed type that's in there, it's a variety of seeds, so there's a variety for the bees and other insects to feed upon, to live in, etcetera."

In the five years the program has run, 140,000 seed packets have been distributed through 4-H clubs to communities across Canada.

This year, 135 clubs participated in the initiative, with 44 per cent of those clubs being first time participants.

"It's great to see that there's a conversation occurring," Hoekstra said. "And that this conversation continues to grow, and that people are really starting to think about what we can do to help enhance bee health, enhance biodiversity in our communities, on our land."

He says, at least one third of human food supply comes from crops and plants that depend on insect pollination.

The Syngenta Canada's support for Proud to Bee a 4-H'er is through its Operation Pollinator program, which is focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators given their essential role in agriculture and nature.


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