Plight of the Bees

Below is a letter published in our local Stoney Creek newspaper by a reader/resident

Help the Bees by Planting Clover

I have been thinking about the plight of the bees. Is there a way to perhaps help this very important insect?
So the idea came to me: plant clover along the boulevard in front of my house.
On its own it would be rather insignificant, but with neighbours and the city (there are lots of city-maintained boulevards in Stoney Creek) we might be able to make a difference.
Lawns are really of no benefit other than from an esthetic point of view. Clover is hardy, it chokes out weeds, stays green in dry conditions, and is used by many insects and small mammals.

Chris Cipak
Stoney Creek, ON

The value of bee pollination in human nutrition and food for wildlife is immense and difficult to quantify.
60 to 80% of the world’s flowering plant species are animal pollinated,[1] and 35% of crop production[1] and 60% of crop plant species[2][full citation needed] depend on animal pollinators. It is commonly said that about one third of human nutrition is due to bee pollination. This includes the majority of fruits, many vegetables (or their seed crop) and secondary effects from legumes such as alfalfa and clover fed to livestock.[citation needed] (Wikipedia)
So obviously there are citations listed here (which basically, you can do your own research to see whether this information is backed up)
But this part: “The value of bee pollination in human nutrition and food for wildlife is immense” certainly cannot be disputed so it really is an issue that we should be actively paying attention to and not just that but trying to do what we can to reverse what has happened and increase our bee populations. Banning certain pesticides was step 1 but there are many other factors to consider here such as why our bees are being moved around to other countries to do their ever so special task of pollinating and the continued use of Neonics (another pesticide)

Personally, I thought the planting of clover in current grassy areas was an interesting idea. Because of much interior home renovating, we haven’t really had a chance to pay too much attention to landscaping the front of our property and what we have noticed over the last few years is the random growth of clover patches. We do try to promote some insect (several varities of bees, butterflies, etc) activity by planting lilac, butterfly bushes and other flowering plants but our clover has appeared on its own so I’m not sure if it is the sole reason for the increased buzzing and fluttering around us. Never-the-less, we had talked about stripping the front lawn/weeds/clover and laying down new sod as part of our landscaping plan but may now reconsider, maybe we can affect change and start to encourage the healthy insect activity that ultimately gives us so many naturally special treats! Maybe not “weeds” after all?
I’ve included a few links for good reading and a petition letter…please take a look!
http://www.ontariohoney.ca/educators/the-honey-bee
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/wildlife-habitat/projects/save-the-bees-and-butterflies/
http://action2.davidsuzuki.org/neonics/thank-you

Tell us how you feel about this idea of clover being planted on the Boulevards of your community, and if anyone has already tried this please let us know if/how it is working out.