Mural raises awareness about the plight of native pollinators like Toronto’s Green Sweat Bee
TORONTO, June 23, 2016 /CNW/ – Toronto has officially become the first city in Canada to receive a “Bee City” affiliation and to celebrate the news, Burt’s Bees has commissioned renowned street artist Nick Sweetman to paint a mural featuring the city’s “pollinator-in-chief”, the Green Sweat Bee.
Burt’s Bees’ commissioning of the mural continues the brand’s longstanding commitment to pollinator and bee health through funding and educational initiatives, a legacy set in motion more than three decades ago by Burt Shavitz.
“Burt passed away last July, but we continue to honour him by connecting people to nature and helping them discover the wonder of bees and all they produce,” says Carolyn Hungate, Marketing Manager at Burt’s Bees Canada. “Bees have always been central to our products, our culture and the impact that we can have as a business in both the community and in the world.”
Adorning a wall at Bloor St. and Howland Ave. in the heart of Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, the street art depicts Toronto’s native species – often recognizable for its metallic green or blue-green sheen and exotic mix of colours – against the city’s skyline.
“The pollinator’s issue is one that is very close to my heart,” explains Nick Sweetman. “A lot of my work is focused on pollinators and bringing awareness to their decline.”
The collaboration between Burt’s Bees, Sweetman and the City of Toronto – part of National Pollinator week (June 20 to 27) – will not only replace illegal graffiti with officially sanctioned street art, but also help to raise awareness about the plight of the pollinator and celebrate Toronto joining a growing cohort of proud Bee City affiliates. Employees at Burt’s Bees Canada, also helped, adding finishing touches to the mural alongside the artist.
“Murals are a magnificent way to tell a story through art,” said Councillor Michelle Holland (Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “As we continue our efforts to protect and preserve pollinators in Toronto, and to beautify our streets with art, this mural will continue to remind us of the important role that pollinators play.”
“We hope this mural will serve as a long lasting reminder of the important role not just Green Sweat Bees but all bees play in our lives,” adds Hungate.
Burt’s Bees has raised over $200,000 for charitable partners like Wildlife Preservation Canada and helped to build bee hotels across Canada, providing sustainable habitats for the country’s native pollinator bees including the Green Sweat Bee – an expert pollinator known to favour smaller flowers often bypassed by bigger bees.
As a ground-nesting bee, the Green Sweat Bee’s shallow habitat is often at risk by gardeners unaware of the pollinator’s presence in their gardens. Torontonians can do their part by setting aside an area of sparsely covered, sandy soil in a sunny location to create a safe habitat and encourage these little pollinators to nest.
ABOUT BURT’S BEES
Burt’s Bees® has been offering distinctive earth-friendly, natural health and beauty care products for 30 years. From a beekeeper’s backyard in Maine to the leading edge of natural, Burt’s Bees knows natural body care solutions from head-to-toe and operates with The Greater Good™ top of mind. No parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS and no animal testing.