Residents of Flin Flon might notice a few more plants around town this summer. That’s thanks to Abigail Agpalza, a Grade 9 student at Hapnot Collegiate who worked with the City of Flin Flon to plant wildflowers to help the bee population of the area.
“I found out that wildflowers are really good for bees,” Agpalza said. “One of the main reasons why [bees] are dying is because not a lot of people plant those flowers and some of them are being ripped out as weeds. I decided to plant sunflower seeds around Flin Flon.”
The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists say more than 30 per cent of bee colonies failed during the winter of 2018, the highest amount since 2009.
Agpalza’s project was part of a 20Time Project. Students were encouraged to try and solve a problem by taking action.
“I saw a lot of posts on social media about them and how [bees] are going extinct,” Agpalza said. “Last semester, I was doing a digital course. I noticed that around the
classroom, there were also posters about how bees are going extinct. That’s how I learned about it and I just thought of that when I thought of solving a real world problem.”
Agpalza worked with the City of Flin Flon to pick out three locations to plant in; near the Flinty statue, the USW Monument and the duck pond. The city will also be taking care of the plants over the summer.
“They’re doing really well,” Agpalza said. “The parks and recreation team here, they offered to tend to them for me and water them along with the other plants that they’re supposed to take care of.”
The bees weren’t the only ones who benefitted from the project, as Agpalza found her own green thumb through the project.
“My parents really like planting and gardening and I never really knew about that,” she said.
“One of the goals of the 20Time project was to learn about something that you are passionate about, or learn something new that you could keep doing. Gardening was one of those things, so now I know how to garden and actually enjoy it."