Awakening News Editor Speaks to Horticultural Society on Movement to Save Our Pollinators

Associate Editor John Devine addresses the Horticultural Society Jan. 17, 2019 as the efforts of Awakening News to call attention to the demise of pollinators gains steam. (Staff photo)

Transcribed and abridged by Awakening Staff

ORILLIA, Ontario, Jan. 17, 2019Awakening News Associate Editor John Devine offered the following remarks to the Orillia Horticultural Society Jan. 17, regarding the preservation of bees and other pollinators, as society struggles with sharply declining bee populations and threats against the populations/habitats of other insects that function as pollinators, especially butterflies.

In so doing, Mr. Devine emphasizes the importance of Bee City Canada and Bee City USA, a growing movement that enlists member cities across both nations, encouraging cities to carry out “best practices” to stabilize and increase the population of pollinators in their respective communities and regions.

Here is a summary of John’s key remarks:

“Good evening, I thank you for asking me to speak.

“Awakening News is here on behalf of the Bee City Canada.  Our news outlet published an article recently about Beaumont, Texas becoming a Bee City USA member, causing Yours Truly to see if the Bee City movement has moved into Canada.

“Much to my delight, I found a Bee City website. I began conversing with Shelly Candel, who’s the Director of Bee City Canada—a delightful person with a passion to save our pollinators.

“After several messages and phone calls I came across a CBC Radio interview with Mariana Wright, the Director of the Butterfly Sanctuary near Mission, Texas which evidently is going to be destroyed in the planned ‘Border Wall’ construction. [EDITOR’S NOTE: See this recent posting that goes into more detail on the Sanctuary]

“I immediately gave Shelly a heads-up. We agreed to attempt to bring this disaster-in-the-making to the attention of all Canadians since, after all, Canada is host to many of the butterflies who ‘winter’ in the threatened sanctuary in Texas.

“I am also here to lobby your Horticultural Society to petition the City of Orillia to join the Bee City movement.

“Anyway, the crisis regarding the Texas Sanctuary requires our immediate attention. As I speak it’s about 30 days  before the wall construction starts [in the Mission sector]. Bee City Canada, along with Awakening News, is asking all those interested in saving the Butterfly Sanctuary to reach out to any Canadian media outlet and ask them to expand upon this issue.

“Awakening News has already asked CBC Radio to follow up on their first broadcast. I suggested to CBC Radio members that Shelly’s Bee City movement participate in the interview and that scientist Nigel Raine, a world leader in the study of pollinators from the University of Guelph and a Bee City Canada member, also should take part in the interviews.

“We have much to share and much to learn; I now open the floor to questions, bearing in mind that I have a lot to learn about our pollinators. Again, we are asking for help in bringing all Canadian media into the story.”