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‘Pollinator Friendly Roadside Zone’ proposed as refuge

longpoint honeybeesJulie White proposes council designate a ‘Pollinator Friendly Roadside Zone’ along Long Point Road from Babylon east to Prince Edward Point.  She will speak to councillors at Thursday morning’s committee of the whole meeting. The request would be referred to staff for a report regarding its viability and other possible pollinator friendly zones.

“Honey bees and other insect pollinators are facing unparalleled threats to their well-being and survival as a result of pesticides and habitat loss,” said White in her deputation. “This is happening all across the province, but it has particular significance to PEC, both as an agricultural community requiring pollination and a place where valuing wildlife and nature are not just part of the fabric of who we are, but also an economic driver for tourism.”

White, owner of the Long Point Honey Company, said the pilot proposal provides a refuge for pollinators by supporting a diversity of wildflowers that provide nectar or pollen, as well as grasses that serve as caterpillar host plants for butterflies and moths, and in some cases, she says, roadside support plant communities that can no longer be found elsewhere.

“Roadsides offer nesting sites for bees, particularly ground-nesting bees because the soil is undisturbed compared to agricultural fields,” she said. “Additionally, roadsides promote connectivity between habitat fragments providing protective nectar corridors for insects such as monarch butterflies.”

The area is part of the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife area and consists primarily of old field and shrub thickets with ponds, wetlands and small forests. In addition to being designated an Important Birding Area for migrating birds, the point is also designated an International Butterfly Reserve due in part to the abundance of milkweed.

White’s deputation notes approximately 10 per cent of the area is made up of small, seasonal, and year-round residences (from Gravelly Road to the Point) – “all of whom have provided affidavits that they don’t use non-organic pesticides.” She notes business is limited to her company and a few fishermen and the one access road, County Road 13, enjoys limited traffic.

As there has been no commercial farms, orchards or livestock for over 20 years, this area is free of the agricultural contaminates that have been plaguing pollinators in North America,” White says. “It is also richly biodiverse in terms of plants and wildlife. However, the importance of roadsides cannot be underestimated as a source of nesting sites and forage for pollinators and small animals.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Mike says:

    This is an excellent endeavor – not only will it be beneficial to the bees, but also to Monarch butterflies by allowing Milkweed to grow.

    I think there can be designated roads/areas, keeping in mind visibility for drivers/cyclists.

    Between this projects and phasing out neonicotinoids the County and it’s Councillors have really shown forward thinking, and thinking about our future generations. Bravo!

  2. Joanne says:

    I believe in saving the bees and am all for this idea on the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife area but not on roads where there are residents. I live on Babylon Road year round and it is dangerous to not have the sides of the road cleared, I keep the immediate area on either side of my driveway cleared but with the tall weeds further down, it is still hard to see, not to mention the concern of not being able to see the deer easily. Where the west end of Babylon comes out at Cty rd 13, it is very hard to see on both sides and will likely, at some point, cause an accident and this could be a big liability for the County. There are many unused fields that are left uncut in this area, that are full of wild flowers for the bees. We absolutely need to protect the bees but we need to keep the sides of the road clear to keep drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists safe as well.

  3. Myrna Wood says:

    This excellent idea should be extended across the South Shore to Pt Petre.

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