One of the most common questions we get is “How can I help pollinators?”.
There are many ways that you can help bees and pollinators at home.
One popular way is to plant “bee friendly gardens”. Growing plants that produce lots of nectar, choosing native, drought resistant species, and planting a variety of different plants that bloom at different times throughout the year are ways to create a good food source for the bees in your backyard. For more information on bee friendly gardens, visit our page here. Another way to help pollinators is by leaving your weeds alone. Dandelions, thistle, and other flowering weeds are a very good source of food for pollinators. As well, not removing fallen leaves or dead woody plants from your gardens in the fall can help preserve pollinator habitat and homes for offspring that will emerge in the spring.
“Bee hotels” are a popular way to provide habitat for solitary bees in your backyard. Unfortunately, many store-bought bee hotels do not have nesting holes of the correct size, but there are many online resources for choosing the right one or for building one yourself.
Here is one article outlining the requirements for the best solitary bee hotel.
Another way to support pollinators is to support pollinator research. There are many research groups that are working to improve honey bee and pollinator health across Ontario and Canada, one being the Honey Bee Research Centre. To learn more, visit our donation webpage here.
You can even help pollinators by taking action in your community. Organizations like Pollination Guelph and Bee City Canada are groups that work to improve pollinator habitats in urban settings and are great causes to get involved with. Finally, you can write to your government about conservation efforts, pesticide use, and climate change policy. These issues not only impact pollinators, but the larger ecosystem as well.
Tip: Support local beekeepers by buying local honey! The Ontario Beekeepers Association beekeeper directory is a great place to find a beekeeper near you.