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Montreal Is Going To Create Bee Highways So They Can Get Through The City

The first one is already under "construction."

A sign showing a bee asking for help at a Montreal climate march. Right: A bee on a flower at the Montreal Botanical Garden.

A sign showing a bee asking for help at a Montreal climate march. Right: A bee on a flower at the Montreal Botanical Garden.

Bees will have new fast tracks through the city by the end of the decade. As part of a newly-unveiled plan to protect pollinators, Montreal is promoting its project to create "at least" five "ecological corridors." First announced in 2021, the corridors will feature vegetation designed to encourage pollinators, such as bees, along their journeys, the city said Thursday.

The first corridor is already in development in the East End, linking three boroughs and the independent municipality of Montréal-Est. The remaining four are supposed to be ready by the end of 2027.

The broader protection plan also includes amending by-laws to allow for "pollinator-friendly" landscaping and encouraging residents to mow their lawns less frequently. Such initiatives are already common throughout Quebec. Several municipalities participate in an annual "dandelion challenge" (Défi Pissenlits), which asks residents to put off their first springtime mow and allow the weed to bloom.

Montreal also aims to increase the proportion of protected green space in the city from 8% to 10%. That might seem simple, but officials say those two percentage points represent an area equal to five times that of Mount Royal.

The complete pollinator protection plan includes 14 steps the city plans to take in the next four to five years.

It's not a coincidence that the administration unveiled the plan just weeks before hosting the COP 15 United Nations conference.

"The pollinator protection plan we are announcing today sets the table for the COP 15 on biodiversity and must serve as an example," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a press release.

"When it comes to protecting biodiversity and the food chain, pollinators are extremely important, considering that one-third of the world's food supply depends on pollination, which is under serious threat."

She called the pollinator protection measures "a great source of pride."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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