June 12th, 2021

World Bee Day event hopes to (not) shine a light on pollinators

By Tim Kalinowski on May 18, 2021.

A bee lifts off from a dandelion along a green strip on the city's westside. Herald file photo

Update: this event has been cancelled due to current health restrictions limiting gatherings


LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

World Bee Day event organizers in Lethbridge hope to start a conversation with Lethbridge residents and city council about drafting a new light nuisance bylaw to protect pollinators and to make the city more liveable for all.
Rena Woss will be hosting a small event in front of city hall for World Bee Day Thursday at 3:30 p.m. to draw awareness to this important issue. She says when people think of the things that harm pollinators they mainly think of pesticides or herbicides, but give very little thought to the harmful effects of light pollution.
“I want to bring attention to the plight of not just bees, but all pollinators,” she says. “Because right across the world, they are dying by the billions. It is so concerning that many countries have light bylaws in place to protect them.
“Our event is to encourage our city to show them we are concerned about light pollution, and to encourage them to implement a progressive bylaw which is light nuisance bylaw– which is similar to a noise nuisance bylaw or other bylaws which fall under the umbrella of nuisance.”
Woss says such a bylaw not only helps nature, but multiple studies show light pollution is also detrimental to human health. Not to mention how annoying it is to be sitting in your peaceful garden enjoying the night air by moonlight, she says, only to have a neighbour turn on a massive flood light next door.
“Many communities (like Calgary and Edmonton) have adopted these (light pollution) bylaws as an important measure to protect nature,” she says, “and there is a social (good neighbour) component to it as well. So it is a win-win for citizens when bylaws like this are implemented by their city.”
Woss acknowledges with municipal elections coming up this fall, the current council may be reluctant to pass a bylaw with such sweeping impact on the community.
“We want to plant the seed,” she explains, “but this council has an opportunity to go out with a positive action in place. There is still ample time for this bylaw to be implemented, but if not the next council coming on stream, if we have people who are aware, this is a bylaw which is a no-brainer. This is a bylaw which would benefit our city on many levels.”
Woss says she hopes by drawing attention to this issue, she and those of like mind in the community can foster a better quality of life for all living in Lethbridge, including its insect pollinators.
“That’s how every bylaw ever has been implemented,” she states: “at the initiative of the one or two people, or a group. It doesn’t just fall out of the sky. When you recognize a need for something, you need to advocate for it. We really do have a need for a light nuisance bylaw (in Lethbridge).”

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