POLLINATORS are the insects that pollinate flowers
You know about bees and butterflies, but did you know that there are over 1000 species of pollinating insects in Canada? Together they are an indispensable natural resource, and their daily work is essential for over a billion dollars of apples, pears, cucumbers, melons, berries, and many other kinds of Canadian farm produce. These beneficial insects are under pressure from loss of habitat, loss of food sources, disease, and pesticides. As insect populations are threatened, so are the fruit and vegetable produce, and the wild ecosystems that depend on these pollinators.
TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT POLLINATORS
Making a Beeline Toward Sustainable Agriculture in Ontario
Bee the Change at Cambridge City Hall, Cambridge ON ~ April 22nd 2014 ~ 5:30pm-8:30pm
Food Not Lawns London ON ~ April 26th 2014 Food & Seed Sovereignty Film Night ~ Mother's Day Plant Sale May 9th & 10th 2014
Celebrate Earth Day in Killaloe ON on April 26th 2014 ~ 10am-2pm
The Buzz About Bees & Food on April 29th 2014 in King City ON ~ 7pm
North American Native Plant Society Annual Sale ~ Saturday May 10th 2014 in Markham ON ~ 10am-3pm
Order milkweed plants here and pick them up at Christie Pits Park in Toronto on May 25th 2014, along with a North American Native Plant Society sponsored native plant sale, thanks to the Homegrown National Park
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservancy in Cambridge ON will be offering Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in their giftshop
ECOFest is May 31st 2014 at the Waterloo Regional Museum ~ 9:30am-4:30pm
Look Listen & Learn event in Thunder Bay ON on June 7th 2014 ~ 10am-2pm
Catch the film Flight of the Butterflies at an IMAX Theatre near you! Click this list for showings in Canada
Keep an eye out for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee at Beefriend (a bee on the endangered list) and Wildlife Preservation Canada
Especially for Children ... BEST FRIENDS OF THE POLLINATORS CLUB ~ Poetry and Photography Contests
Congratulations to Janine McLeod and Dr. Rick Beaver of the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna, who won the
2013 NAPPC Pollinator Advocate Award Canada
Congratulations to Cathy and Bryan Gilvesy of YU Ranch, who won the
2013 NAPPC Farmer-Rancher (Canada) Pollinator Award for their sustainable farming practices
Growers and Farmers ... be sure to click on these resources
Bee Vectored Biocontrol: Using Pollinators to Protect Crops
Best Management Practices for Pollination in Ontario Crops
Recommendations for Conservation of Pollinators on Farmland
NAPPC Agricultural Task Force: Farmer Profiles and Resources
A Landowner's Guide to Conserving Native Pollinators in Ontario by Sue Chan
Pollinator Management for Organic Seed Production (Xerces Society)
You can buy this book ($15 includes shipping and handling and taxes) by clicking here
Introducing ... BEE FRIENDLY FARMING® and GARDENING®
The use of this logo indicates that your agricultural practices encourage and improve pollinator health. To self-certify and find out more, click here Partners for Sustainable Pollination
R E S O U R C E S for B e e F r i e n d l y F a r m i n g ® (Gardening too!)
Comprehensive Bee-Friendly Information
Most of Canada is included within the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Resource Centre regions. Simply click on the region in which you live. If you live in the Yukon, Northwest or Nunavut Territories, use the resources listed below, starting with the Evergreen Ecozones.
Plants That Attract Pollinators
Although the regional guides to pollinator-friendly plants from the Pollinator Partnership are currently specific to the United States, there is much overlap with the Canadian provinces. There is quite a bit of valuable information to be gleaned from these guides.
If you really want to be more specific in matching plants in the ecozone that you live in, the Evergreen Native Plant Database is the place for you! First determine your ecozone on this map. Then choose the "Advanced Search" option in the Native Plant Database. You may then indicate your ecozone and scroll further down, under the Miscellaneous heading, where you can check off "Attracts Wildlife" and choose which wildlife to specify.
Evergreen Ecozones -- in combination with -- Evergreen Native Plant Database
Pollination Canada Helping Pollinators Thrive: a Plant List of Blooms by Season for Canada
Nectar and Pollen Plants for Native Wild Pollinators
Canadian Wildlife Federation Pollinator Plant List
Pollination Guelph Trees, Shrubs and Plants for Pollinators
North American Native Plant Society Gardening Tips for Pollinators
Guelph's Pollination Park Plant List
Clement Kent's booklet How to Make a Pollinator Garden
You can buy this book ($8 includes shipping and handling and taxes) by clicking here
More Specific Mapping Tools for Regions in Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: plant hardiness zones of Canada
Natural Resources Canada: land cover in Canada
Natural Resources Canada: topographic maps, agriculture maps, snow cover, geology, and more
Guides to Becoming Pollinator-Friendly
Pollination Canada: Native Bees for Farmers
Xerces Society: Farming with Pollinators
Canadian Wildlife Federation Pollinators
Canadian Geographic article Plight of the Bumblebee
Canadian Museum of Nature, link to Peter Kevan video
Feed the Bees
Comprehensive Resources on Pollination
Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Resources
Carol Dunk: ROADSIDES program and SEEDBALLS
Are you feeling energetic and motivated to help pollinators in your area? Check out ways to make pollinator patches ... Carol Dunk, past president of the Ontario Horticultural Society, has prepared this handy booklet called Roadsides for your reference! As well, the AUTUMN is a great time to make and sow SEEDBALLS! Her simple recipe includes: compost, red clay, chili powder & SEEDS of pollinator plants. If you are collecting seed from the wild, just take 10% of the seeds from any one plant -- leave the rest for creatures and processes in nature. Also, be aware that it is illegal to remove seeds from conservation areas and national or provincial parks.
Making Native Bee Nests
Native bees such as Mason, Leafcutter, Mining, Sweat and Bumblebees are important and interesting pollinators you can attract to your garden by providing habitat that can be purely functional, or can double as garden art!
When constructing native bee nests, we do advise you on three aspects:
1) do your best to use natural materials, found outside, but 2) do not use cedar wood, as it has insecticidal properties (hence the reason it lasts so well in outdoor construction) and 3) ensure that the lengths of your bee condos are at least 8" long, to maintain brood sex ratios.
Consider drilling holes in stumps or logs from a felled tree... collect twigs and branches...hang bundles of bamboo or hollow shrub stems...build small gravel or rock piles in sunny locations. When collecting your natural materials, ensure there is not a native bee or two nesting there already! If you’d prefer to reclaim rather than gather wood, perhaps there is a college or shop in your neighbourhood that generates wood waste, in the form of small pieces of 2x4 (not pressure treated!). Generally, you can pick this up for free.
The following links will take you to both basic and more elaborate plans that may inspire you to design your own "insect hotels!"