Ontario has just released its draft Pollinator Health Action Plan for public review. The plan proposes actions to address four stressors: habitat loss, disease, exposure to pesticides and climate change.
Ontario Nature is working with partners to assess the plan and provide recommendations. Stay informed by joining our Action Alert updates.
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Pollinators are organisms that aid the transfer of flower pollen to allow for the fertilization of plants, which is essential to fruit and seed production. Bees are the principal pollinators, but there are other pollinators as well. These include insects such as flies, moths, butterflies, wasps, and even some beetles. They also include hummingbirds and certain bats.
Threats to Pollinators
One of main threats to pollinators is habitat loss.Expanding urbanization and agricultural development eat up the habitat of these creatures. Pesticides also take their toll. Due to their small size, many pollinators can be killed by even small quantities.
The Buzz on Bees
Bees are the most important of our pollinators. And yet they are probably the most misunderstood and the least appreciated. The honey bee is not native to Canada. It was introduced from Europe almost 400 years ago. Unlike honey bees, the majority of our native bees are solitary.
Helping Pollinators in Your Garden
* Provide the greatest diversity of flowers possible, ensuring there are a number of different flowers in bloom at any time from early spring through the summer and into the fall.
* Choose native flowers rather than exotic.
*Provide a diversity of flower shapes and sizes.
* Choose heirloom varieties which are more likely to have retained their ability to produce nectar and pollen.
* Plant clusters of each flower species – in clumps of three to five plants – to attract attention of pollinators.