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Lending a helping hand for northwest bees

Young students at the St. Bernard Elementary School in Thunder Bay did their small part to help local bees by building bedazzled new homes for the pollinators.

In June, Environment and Corporate Relations staff at Ontario Power Generation’s Northwest Operations visited the school’s Grade 1 and junior and senior kindergarten classes to educate the kids on biodiversity and the important role bees play in our environment.

After the talk, the children got a chance to do their part to bolster the declining bee population by building and decorating plastic bottle bee houses of their own.

Unfortunately, members of more than 400 bee species in Ontario are dying by the millions due to climate change and other factors.

The dire situation has human consequences, too, as pollinators like bees are responsible for about two thirds of what we eat.

Students at a local school in Thunder Bay did their part by building new homes for local bees.

In recent years, OPG has focused on supporting Ontario's beleaguered wild bee population through its "Let it Bee" partnership with Friends of the Earth Canada.

The program encourages businesses, residents and communities to create bee-friendly gardens across Ontario. Gardeners are encouraged to plant simple flowers with open petals, leave old wood and raspberry canes out as nesting sites for the insects, and stop the use of mulch and pesticides. Under these conditions, a typical backyard garden could blossom to host as many as 50 different species of wild native bees.