On Friday June 12th the Sustainable Pollination Forum was held at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown PEI. The enthusiasm and involvement was excellent, despite the poor weather conditions. The forum kicked off with a welcome from Alan Hicken, the president of PEI Organic Berries. In total there were eight excellent speakers who addressed the importance of pollination, directing a great deal of focus to the contribution of bees, as it is the easiest and least expensive means to pollinate. In Canada alone there are 800 species of bees, and many of the presenters suggested that it was of great importance that we should provide the appropriate habitat – wildflowers.
Researchers are exploring new innovative pollination techniques and have been examining the advantages of microbes, which fight diseases like botrytis; a mould caused from damp, cool conditions. Keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Kevan of the University of Guelph, spoke on the various pollination systems and pollinators used in berry production. In order to solve the pollination problem people of different backgrounds and expertise should be brought together as they were at the Sustainable Pollination Forum.
One last important message that was well felt throughout the forum was the need to maximize pollination strategies in order to manage the various bee species. Farmers shouldn’t find themselves relying on one system to pollinate their crops. The forum wrapped up with closing remarks made by Dr. Jim Kemp who acknowledged that not all farmers recognize decline in bees world wide or the importance of pollination and sincerely thanked all those who attended.