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Toronto should be Canada's "Bee City": Editorial

Feb 29, 2016

A long-horned bee, so-named because of the very long antennae of the males. They can be observed sleeping on Dahlia and sunflowers throughout southern Canada in late summer.

It’s a honey of an idea. Toronto is working on becoming Canada’s first official Bee City — a designation meant to underline the municipality’s commitment to protecting a humble insect that’s vital to the propagation of flowering plants.

Canada’s largest urban area is home to more than 300 types of bees, and hundreds of other “pollinator species,” according to a report to Toronto’s parks and environment committee. And these busy bugs need help.

In recent years North American bees have suffered from a phenomenon known as “colony collapse disorder,” believed to have been triggered by pesticide exposure coupled with onslaughts from bacteria and parasites. Canadian bee-keepers reported losing about 200,000 colonies in the spring of 2013 alone, more than a quarter of the total. Survival rates are now rebounding.

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