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'Beeline' in Montreal offers urban flower route for pollinators


Montreal's de Castelnau Street is getting a "beeline" -- an urban flower route that helps travelling pollinators safely get from one green space to another.

The famed avenue is closed to cars from St-Laurent Boulevard to Fullum Street starting May 20, also World Bee Day.

Pedestrians can enjoy raised flowerbeds and urban greenspaces that connect larger green spaces. The beeline also includes educational murals and bee hotels.

Pollinators need our help to survive in the city, said Fiona O'Brien, director of marketing for Danone, a project sponsor.

"Just like we require sidewalks and highways to move from place to place, bees require plants to move from area to area and return to the hive. So in urban areas where we often cut down plants and don't regenerate some of these spaces, it's often difficult for bees to move," she said.

Pollinators are essential to our food supply, explained Adele Grenouilleau of Pollinator Partnership Canada, who said natural habitats are declining, meaning bees can't find food or a place to nest.

"Between 75 per cent and 95 per cent of all flowering plants need pollination. Pollinators are really important for the food that we eat. There's a saying that one out of three bites on our plates we have thanks to pollinators – vegetables, fruits, almonds," she said.

Planting native nectar species and flowering plants that bloom at different times during the summer is another way to help, said Emma Despland, a biology professor at Concordia University.

The "No Mow May" movement helps bugs and bees too, said André-Philippe Drapeau Picard, a biologist and entomologist with the Insectarium.

"Reducing the mowing frequency allows the plants to bloom, such as dandelions, but also clovers, wild strawberries, too, so it provides food for the pollinators, especially in the spring when they are not that many flowers blooming at that time."

Avoid the manicured lawn look and let it grow for the pollinators, he said.

"Go out, leave the plants there, leave the habitat as natural as possible and just enjoy the show." Top Stories

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