Pollinator health information
Pollinators are a gardener's friend. Most flowering plants (including
fruit and vegetables) can't reproduce without the help of bees,
wasps, butterflies, moths, flies, hummingbirds or other pollinators.
The loss of pollinators threatens biodiversity and the survival
of many native flowering plants that are important sources of
food, habitat and other resources for people and wildlife.
By taking a few simple steps to protect these important creatures,
you can help your garden thrive and boost pollinator populations
Learn about local
organizations that are doing great things to help pollinators.
What you can do to help:
Pollinators need pollen and nectar to survive, so plant plenty
of flowers, trees and shrubs. For lists of pollinator-friendly
Aim for a succession of blooms from early spring until fall
so that your pollinators don't go hungry. Pollination Canada
has produced a season-by-season list of bee-friendly plants.
Include a mix of flowers with different sizes and shapes
to attract different types of pollinators. Avoid hybrid flowers,
as they don't tend to produce much pollen and nectar.
Group plants of the same species together, so pollinators
don't have to fly too far to collect nectar or pollen.
Pollinators need water for drinking and bathing. Some bees
also use water to create pollen balls. Make sure they have access
to shallow containers of water, puddles or ponds with gently
sloping sides. (To avoid encouraging mosquitos, change the water
frequently or install an aerator.)
Some bees need mud to build their nests, so encourage a few
damp areas in your garden.
Don't clear away dead plant material, because many pollinators
overwinter in fallen leaves. Similarly, don't cut down hollow-stemmed
plants in the fall: certain types of native bees will nest in
the stems in the spring.
Leave fallen branches or logs. These provide a home for other
types of native bees.
Leave a little bare soil in your garden for burrowing bees.
Consider creating your own bee nests from wood
or milk cartons.
Choose seeds, seedlings and plants that are attractive to
pollinators, such as hawthorn shrub, lavender, black-eyed susan
Become involved with a group
We all have a part to play in helping pollinators to thrive in
Ontario. You can help by getting involved in groups that work
to promote pollinators or participating in "citizen science"
projects by providing useful information to help track and monitor
pollinators and their habitats. Both are easy to do. Learn more
about the many organizations in Ontario that have pollinator initiatives
or are coordinating citizen science projects for pollinator research
at Pollinator action highlights.
Pollinator Action Map
Find out what actions to improve pollinator health are taking
place near you.