News Local

Vancouver pop-up park to have bee habitat

By Bryan Mc Govern

Bees and other pollinators face increasing risks to their survival, threatening the global food supply.
REUTERS

Bees and other pollinators face increasing risks to their survival, threatening the global food supply. REUTERS

A one-of-a-kind beekeeping project is set to help preserve bees at a new pop-up park in Vancouver.

The recently approved temporary park at West Fifth Avenue and Pine Street will include a bee house to introduce a habitat for various types of pollinators.

Nick Page, biologist with the Vancouver Park Board, said the habitat is a priority in terms of biodiversity in an urban space.

“There’s a recognition that pollinators, bumblebees and a broader range of species are declining,” said Page. “There’s an opportunity [in an urban environment] to create a habitat for them.”

Despite other parks and community gardens around Vancouver having bee hives or bee preservation projects, the one alongside the pop-up park would be special because of the many different types of bees it would host, Page said.

“They have different resting requirements — some rest in tubes, some need bark, some need different soil types, so we’re going to try to incorporate those [to] have a range of habitats different bees need into the park,” he said.

Bee expert and UBC professor Leonard Foster expressed some caution about the plan, saying there’s a potential danger for honeybees to co-exist with the limited population of bees in the area.

“Part of the challenge facing bees is certainly a lack of food, a lack of an area and flowers to forge on, so this kind of thing” he said, referring to the mixed-bee house, “would provide more competition for them and generally not be very good.”

Foster said that since honeybees are actually not native to North America, he would hope the honeybee preservation would respect “native populations [who] deserve to be there as well.”

The pop-up park is set to open later this year.