We are the Xwísten, which means the smiling people in our language. Our language and customs are of the St’át’imc, the interior BC Nation that has existed for many thousands of years in the mountainous regions of south-central British Columbia.
The plan is to have our youth, through the Bridge River Brains Homework club and youth group lead the way in educating our community on the importance of bees. They will research the flowers we will need to plant, make posters advising the community of what we are doing and perhaps start beekeeping in the community. Celebration of pollinators will take place in the third week of June during National Aboriginal Day. The youth will prepare a presentation during the community dinner. Our community is very interested in non-GMO food and do not utilize herbicides or pesticides.
At this time we have located three areas where we can set up the Bee City within walking distance to our Bridge River Brains Homework Club. Over this 6 months the youth will research the flowers we will need to plant, fence the area off so the dogs and cats are not able to use it as their toilet. We will be making posters advising the community of what we are doing as well. We have researched the mason bee, bumble bee and honey bee. We have plenty of wild plants that attract the bees right now including dandelions, alfalfa and sage brush plus the few fruit trees. We will also build bee houses, locate old logs to drill tunnels in for bumble bees and ask the local honey business to locate one of their apiaries in our community and learn all about how to start a honey bee farm, maintain it and process the honey. This may lead to our students starting one honey bee nest of their own as has happened in many backyards in BC. As indicated above our community is very interested in non-GMO food and do not utilize herbicides and pesticides in our community.
We plan to educate residents, city staff and others about the importance of pollinators and what people can do to protect them. The plan is to have our youth, through the Bridge River Brains Homework Club and our youth group, to lead the way in educating our community on the importance of bees. This will start with finding the right location that is close to a water source and have enough area to have a hillside of flowers, bushes for food that would not be too accessible for their predators and animals that may use the area as a toilet.. We envision a fence, especially if the local honey bee farmer agrees to leave a beehive in our community.