Native Pollinators and Integrative Pest Management
Network Meeting Summary
November 4, 2020
Elaine Sedgman and Kirsten Wourms educated KFPC network members, representatives from partner organizations, staff and contractors on Native Pollinators, Pesticide use, and Integrative Pest Management methods at the virtual November network meeting on November 4, 2020. The meeting kicked off at 5:30 PM with Bonnie Klohn, KFPC Finance and Policy Lead walking the attendees through a brief moment of guided meditation and territorial acknowledgement before opening up the stage for our first speaker, Elaine Sedgman, who delivered a 15 minute presentation and song to the attendees. Following the theme of the meeting, Kirsten Wourms also gave a 15-minute presentation, informing the attendees ways to protect native pollinators through Integrative Pest Management in the City of Kamloops.
Elaine Sedgman is the author and illustrator of the children’s book “Osmia Lignaria Pollinator Extraordinaire” popularly known as “A Bee Named BOB.” There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world, 70% of which are solitary. BC is the most bee-diverse province in Canada as it is home to almost 500 of those species however, the popularly known species of bees, the honey bee is not native to North America. Bees native to BC include the Halictidae “sweat bees”, the biggest family of bees worldwide, which requires open, accessible flowers. The Halictus Farinosus is the most common bee in Kamloops. The Agapostemon Texanus, green sweat bee, the Colletes bee, known to have a golden heart shaped face and the Perdita, comes out in the Spring and Summer. Bees in the Apidae family such as Bumblebees, which are popularly mistaken for Longhorn bees can be found in BC in the Spring. The Melissodes bees are known as sunflower bees as they are attracted to sunflowers and sunflower shapes. 30% of the world’s bees are solitary cavity nesting bees and are all in the Megacilidae family, also known as “hairy belly bees” as they collect pollen on their abdomen. They are long tongue bees so they collect pollen from bell-shaped flowers. These bees nest in hollowed out twigs such as elderberry and raspberry, snail shells and key holes. Osmia lignaria (Blue Orchard Mason bees) are native to North America. Only 1% of the world’s species of bees are social including Honey bees and Bumblebees. Bombus Fervidus is the most populous in BC and their colony size is about 200, lower than that of honey bees. The social bees have no risk of extinction due to human help however, the native bees are subject to extinction due to habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of modern agriculture. Almond orchards are a death zone as a result of increased herbicides and pesticides use. Other farming activities like ploughing and crop rotation limits the resources available to bees such as the Melissodes. In cities, social and communal bees such as Honey bees and Halictidae are known to thrive however, cities are a difficult ground for bees to survive due to the overabundance of lawns and pavements and lack of floral diversity. Plants treated with neonicotinoids are known to kill plants and affect bees. Honey bees deplete available pollen nectar, resources and displace native bees. Climate change has caused an increase in CO2 and a massive decrease in pollen protein required by bees and humans.
Kirsten Wourms is a Natural Resource Crew Leader for the City of Kamloops. Integrative Pest Management is a 5-step program that begins with prevention. Before prevention, all gardens and plants need to build resistance to pests. This is highly dependent on soil fertility, drainage, PH level, organic matter, irrigation systems, plant spacing and plant diversity.
Step 1- Identification of Pest
Many times, plants face environmental issues such as drought, flooding, sun scald and nutrient deficiency that might not be caused by pests. Plant, pest, and damage identification are required in the IPM process. This will better inform on the treatment needed to solve the problem (natural enemies & preventive measures)
Step 2 – Monitoring
The most important step to understand the site conditions, locations, lifecycle, and weather. Record species of plants, counts of pests and beneficials and gross stage of plants in the area.
Step 3 – Determine the Acceptable Injury Level
This will determine the tolerance level. Eradication might be detrimental for beneficial pests and as such, we need to strike a balance between management and eradication.
Step 4 – Action
Chemical control should be used as a last resort and after proper research and consultation. Cultural means of prevention such as plant selection, pruning, sanitation, crop rotation, and design should be the first step in the process of pest management. Physical and Mechanical means of prevention include screens, mowing and heat applicators. Action should be used in conjunction with monitoring as it informs on what lifecycle or season that certain mechanical traps can be used. Biological in the City of Kamloops include matching the pest with its natural predators through trials and 10 -20 year studies before released to ensure native pollinators are protected.
Step 5 – Evaluation
Evaluation helps to identify way to improve and assess the costs and benefits to ensure negative effects are minimized
What is the City Doing?
- Pesticide & Spraying Reduction
- Biological Solutions for Knapweeds – Russian Olives, ToadFlax & Houndstongue
- Hand Pulling – Group “Adopt a Tail” for weed pulls
Member, Staff/Contractor Announcements
- Farewell to Sandra Frangiadakis
- Farm to School is collaborating with SFU on a 3-year research project (evaluation framework) to engage schools and farmers in rural, remote and urban areas of BC to understand the barriers and opportunities for engagement and develop a better model for local food procurement and food literacy in farm to school programs
- Outdoor Farmers Market season ended and new indoor location at Purity Feeds (471 Okanagan Way, Kamloops, BC V2H 1G7). Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM until December 19
- Glenn Hilke thanks farmers at the Farmers Market for takeaway meals and donations to the Loop/Meal Train
- JUMP program taking a sabbatical from donation pick up from Farmers Market and requires an organization to continue. JUMP willing to train organization
- Elaine’s Recommendations to the City of Kamloops. In the city of Kamloops, trees should be replaced with bee-friendly flowers as shade trees reduce bee forage
- From the Masters Gardeners Association:
- “Common Bees of the Southern Interior BC” – Read Here
- “Gardening for Pollinators” – Read Here
- A Bee Named BOB, Elaine Sedgman, Bee Stories Publishing, 2019 – Information about BOBs, Bee Nesting Boxes and Care
- Mason Bees – Read More Read More
- Natural Insect Weed and Disease Control by Linda Gilkeson. – Read Here
Next Network Meeting: December 2, 2020