Driven by a team of experts and concerned, passionate people, Bee City Canada is made up by researchers, educators, beekeepers, farmers, ecologists, community leaders and many other committed individuals across Canada. We strive to help all Canadians better understand our close connection with pollinators and their critical link to the health of the planet. Our goals are to give direction and encouragement on the actions we can all take to help all pollinators.
Shelly started Bee City Canada back in early 2016 inspired by the success of Bee City USA and the brilliance of its founder, Phyllis Stiles. Shelly studied agriculture at the University of Guelph and became passionate and concerned about pollinators shortly after she started a farmers market at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.
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Aidan is currently studying Zoology at the University of British Columbia. He first became involved with Bee City Canada when he brought the movement to his home town of Newmarket, Ontario. Aidan first learned of the rapid decline in pollinator species in 2016 while at the Ontario Nature Youth Summit on Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership. After that, he became much more active in trying to help pollinators by spreading awareness and creating pollinator gardens in and around Newmarket. He strongly believes that youth must be included in conversations on environmental issues as they hold the future of the planet. Aidan spends much of his free time finding ways to immerse himself and others in the natural world around them to help develop a deeper love for the planet we all share.
I first heard of the Bee City Canada organization as a member of one of Stratford, Ontario’s city advisory committees. As a horticulturalist, ecologist, former educator and environmental activist, I was motivated to have Stratford become a designated Bee City community. The city became recognized as Canada’s 4th Bee City on April 2017.
I clicked onto the volunteer link on the Bee City Canada website and that is how this incredible, rewarding and ever learning adventure all began. I appreciate how Bee City Canada is an action-driven organization whose mission is to educate, motivate and support individuals and communities in protecting habitat for the country’s different pollinator populations. By doing so, a brighter future is ensured for all species, including our own. Let’s pass on our love of the natural world to future generations and let us “bee” the change we want to see in the world.
Lincoln R. Best
The greatest positive impacts we can have on the environment are the conservation and enhancement of plant communities in the landscape and educating and enabling the development of personal relationships with this natural environment. This is why I work with Bee City Canada as a scientific advisor. People are excited to create something beautiful, and Bee City Canada is having great success doing this all over the country.
Bee School Ambassador
I am elementary teacher who is working to build educational resources that will serve to build, preserve and protect pollinator habitats through experiential learning. I aim to bring authentic learning outside and to help students connect with nature in an urban environment.
During the Spring of 2015, a television commercial that emphasized the rapidly declining bee population inspired me to bring this world issue into my classroom and open a discussion with my students. What followed was the beginning of an inquiry project; a journey to create sustainable gardens on the school grounds for the purpose of attracting pollinators while getting my students outside and involved in hands-on learning. This discovery helped to catapult my program into a 3-year school-wide initiative. I became conservationists, working to protect our own living greenspace. By focusing on the real-world problem of the declining bee population, students at our school have become empowered to explore their own school community potential and develop a proud sense of ownership with their learning. Creating and tending to a pollinator-friendly garden has helped students connect to nature as they learn about native plant species and how pollinators help to sustain natural environments. As Canada’s first officially declared “Bee City School” we have taken the theme of Pollinator protection and transformed it into a school-wide initiative that is now shown through student success with expository writing assignments, high-yield math problems and STEM projects. Using the activity and role of our pollinators as a hook has proven to inspire learning through all levels and exceptionalities.
As recipients of the prestigious 2018 EdCan Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Education, I am dedicated to realizing the change that school communities can make by embracing the environment as an authentic learning space.
As someone who didn’t know much about bees and pollinators before, I’ve learned an incredible amount since joining Bee City. Pollinators play such an important role in our ecosystem so it’s crucial we take the steps needed to ensure they don’t just survive but also thrive. I love what this organization stands for and can’t wait to see what’s next. Flying into this year just like our bees!
Lorne is a retiree, having worked for the Ontario Public Service for 30 years; the last 20 years in the Ministry of Agriculture. Near the end of his career he focussed much of his efforts on the province’s “Pollinator Health Action Plan”. He has actively supported and advocated for pollinators for over 12 years through his work with Pollination Guelph. His yard in Guelph is largely planted with pollinator-friendly species that attract a large diversity of bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, other insects and non-insect species. Lorne sees BCC as potentially a key tool in helping to educate, motivate and mobilize communities across the country to support pollinators as well as biodiversity and environmental health in general.
Bee Campus Director
I am responsible for promoting and supporting bee campuses across Canada. I graduate this Fall with my undergraduate degree in Environmental Governance from the University of Guelph. I currently work for the University of Guelph’s Sustainability Office, where I promote and visually communicate sustainability practices on campus. I am a passionate advocate for biodiversity conservation and sustainable food systems, which ultimately led me to become a board member for Bee City Canada. I took on the role of Bee Campuses Director, because I believe that university and college campuses are critical hubs for environmental change, both physically and theoretically.
David joined Bee City as a Board Member in 2018. David is a graduate of Olds College and the University of Calgary with majors in horticulture and business marketing. He was inspired to learn more about bees after building a Bee Park and a Pollinator Friendly Corridor in Calgary, Alberta. David’s projects have included bee experts from across North America. By including experts to study his projects, an endangered bee was identified in 2018, which resulted in a feature article by CBC Radio and recognition by the Director General of Environment and Climate Change Canada. David’s expertise focuses on progressive landscape management and integrating environmental education into landscape management.