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Video: Professor Laurence Packer on why and how to make your garden bee-friendly

Video: Professor Laurence Packer on why and how to make your garden bee-friendly

Without bees, we wouldn’t have coffee to drink at breakfast, tomatoes in your sandwich at lunch or fruit for a snack on the go. While bee populations all over the world are in trouble, there are lots of things individuals can do to create bee-friendly gardens — even if your personal green space is limited to a condo balcony.

Here's Professor Laurence Packer from York’s Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science & Engineering on what you can do to help the world’s bees in your backyard:

Packer travels the world tracking many of the 19,500 described species of wild bees. While his perspective is international, Packer’s backyard is a great example of a bee-friendly space and is featured in the video. He is also the author of Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees Are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them. All proceeds form his book will be directed toward bee conservation research.

In 2010, Packer was featured on CBC’s The Nature of Things, hosted by David Suzuki. The episode, “To Be or Not to Be”, highlights dramatic declines in North America’s wild bee and honey bee populations, and explores what the disappearance and decline of these insects tells us about larger ecological problems. The episode is also available for download on CBC’s Web site. Packer’s segment runs from the 3:30 mark through to 6:30.

PhD student Jason Gibbs, who works in Packer’s laboratory and has collaborated with him on research publications, also recently made national news headlines by documenting 19 new bee species, one of which he discovered during his commute from downtown Toronto to York University.

To read more about their work, visit Packer’s Website or search for past stories in the Research News archive using the Laurence Packer and Jason Gibbs tags.

Packer's research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer.

Video production by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, Elizabeth Teodorini, alumni communications manager, and Robert Denault and Perry Walker in the Learning Technology Services unit.