Whistler is a place of spectacular natural beauty and as the popularity of our town has grown so has the footprint of our urban environment – sometimes at the expense of the wildlife that also calls Whistler its home.
This spring is the start of the Summit Lodge Native Wild Pollinator Conservation Project where, in consultation with the Elle Lab at SFU and the Beefriendly Native Bee Conservation Society, we are reinventing all of our outdoor spaces to create environments that are specifically designed for the conservation of Whistler’s native wild pollinators.
Why Are Native Wild Pollinators Important To Whistler?
Native wild pollinators play a huge role in the continued survival and growth of Whistler’s ecosystem:
– They are an essential part of reproduction for many plant species that require cross-pollination to occur
– Many animals rely on these cross-pollinating plants as part of their diet
– They are important for the pollination of agricultural plants as well as wild landscapes
– They pollinate everything from woodland trees, shrubs, fruit trees and plants
What Are Whistler’s Native Wild Pollinators?
Native wild pollinators includes all species of beetles, moths, bees, butterflies, flies and birds that visit flowers and are native to Whistler and the Western Coastal Hemlock Zone. Native wild pollinators are essentially any animal or insect that visits a flower for nectar or pollen.
While honey bees might the the first pollinator that comes to mind, they are not native to North America and can have a negative impact on the survival of native wild pollinators, such as the bumble bee.
Why We Won’t Be Getting Honey Bees As Part Of The Project
Honey bees are wonderful. They pollinate, they create honey, and they’re magnificent to watch work. However, the honey bee is considered an “agricultural animal” and recent research has shown that competition with honey bees reduces the foraging efficiency and reproductive success of bumble bees. Research also shows that honey bees force bumble bees off flowers, and that disease transmission is higher between honey bees and bumble bees that have to share the same plants.
A single honey bee hive can contain over 50,000 bees, who collectively remove hundred of pounds of nectar and tens of pounds of pollen from an area in a single year. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is already doing a great job with their four honey bee hives (totalling around 120,000 bees), and while they have a large garden to support the bees, to add more hives in our small community could contribute to a resource decline for bumble bees and other wild native pollinators.
Updates On The Summit Native Wild Pollinator Conservation Project
Throughout the year, as we reinvent all of our outdoor spaces, we will regularly update our social media, hotel news page and our blog with stories and invites to our community events. If you’d like to join us as a partner or sponsor for the project please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to learn more about the project please visit:
Our hotel news page: summitlodge.com/news-events
Our blog: artofliving.summitlodge.com