This year’s Rosh Hashanah cover featured a photographer by Saanich-based biologist Leah Ramsay (leaningoaks.ca).
Domestic honeybees, like this one, were introduced to the east coast of North America from Europe in 1622. Aided by settlers, it took a couple hundred years before they reached the West Coast. Today, they are found across the continent, with both domestic and feral populations. There are estimates that up to 80 percent of all crops in North America are dependent on bee pollination – both the honey and the apples eaten during Rosh Hashanah are dependent on bees for their production, plus multitudes of other food and forage crops. The other species in the photo is the annual plant, Sea Blush. It is a native wildflower that grows in meadows on the West Coast and produces carpets of pink in the spring. They are often alive with the introduced honeybee and native bumble bees.