Arrowsmith Naturalists, with approximately 120 members, is based in Qualicum Beach, and is one of the many naturalist groups found all over the province. All groups belong to the central organization of B.C. Nature, and are committed to know nature and keep it worth knowing.
The main objectives of all groups individually is to share and increase knowledge in many ways including monthly illustrated talks on a variety of topics, organizing walks, hikes and rambles to places of interest in which both members and the general public are welcome, and education and outreach in the community.
The Arrowsmith Naturalists organize, or participate in, many community events during the year, and the latest of these is the promotion of providing pollinator plants to create habitat for the declining population of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Our latest evening meeting via zoom was on this very topic — pollinators and the plants they depend on throughout their life cycle.
The idea for this project came originally from the example being set by the David Suzuki Foundation, which has been promoting the idea of butterflyways across the country for several years, and now they have added another aspect to protect bees, too. Arrowsmith Naturalists is developing an outreach project in the Oceanside area of Vancouver Island, which roughly extends from Parksville to Bowser in mid-Island.
Just as we were getting organized to promote this idea widely, packages of Cosmos, produced by West Coast Seeds and supported by Dr. Bonnie Henry, appeared in stores, which fit into our pollinator plant list, and building on Dr Henry’s trade mark motto, Bee kind, Bee calm, and Bee safe is exactly the kind of promotion that has not only appeared at the very time we are working on the same idea, but the seed package is designed to catch the eye, to think about the catch phrase, and to look forward to a colourful spring and summer at a time when we most need one.
We very much appreciate West Coast Seeds’ offer to help spread the word through their newsletter, and look forward to working together in the future as this idea spreads like ripples on a pond. Anyone interested in joining the Arrowsmith Naturalists will be very welcome, and further information can be found on our website.
The photos included in this blog are just a few examples of the types of bees, butterflies or wasps found locally. There are so many more, and there are many websites available listing pollinator plants for various areas, and from which much can be learned about our insect population.