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Bees and Pollinators

www.esa.orgFood gardens need insects such as bees to pollinate plants so they will bear fruit. Gardeners can create habitat to support pollinator populations.

There is a growing concern that honey bees can be a threat to native bee species by carrying disease and competing for food resources. See the City of Toronto's Pollinator Protection Strategy for more information. 


Getting started

The City of Toronto has a draft Pollinator Protection Strategy with links to further resources and a new grant stream for pollinator gardens.

Friends of the Environment has a free downloadable guide to native plant gardening for pollinators by Dr. Sheila Colla and Lorraine Johnson - A Flower Patch for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee 

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has a pollinator garden guide with plant lists and tips for a successful garden.  

Top 10 Questions Before You Start Beekeeping

The Ontario Bee Act regulates beekeeping in Ontario, look at the point number 19 to see where you can set up your hives. 

OMAFRA offers an overview of the regulations.

The Ontario Beekeepers Association website has info about:

  • Getting started 
  • Info about bees 
  • A label for Ontario honey production
  • Links to local, national and international associations
  • Where to buy supplies in Ontario
  • Where to buy honey products in Ontario

Toronto Beekeepers Collective 

Toronto Urban Beekeepers Association

The Toronto Botanical Garden offers a courses for an Urban Beekeeping Certificate.

Mystic Sister Apiaries is Toronto's only biodynamic urban beekeeping company.

In the Zone has guides for creating native plant gardens that create habitat. You can also sign up to get ongoing support and participate in a citizen science project.

Alveole is a company that helps people set up beehives. See the Toronto Star article on beehives in Toronto.

Humber Arboretum offers courses and a certificate program in sustainable urban beekeeping

Niagara College offers a commercial beekeeping program in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Seneca College also gives workshops on beekeeping

Other resources

PBS video This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower's Hidden Treasure 

Toronto Bee Rescue will remove unwanted bees from your house. They also sell some honey products like honey, candles and vinegar.

 

If you want to attract pollinators in your garden, not just bees to produce honey, here are some links:

The Toronto Master Gardeners' Guide to Pollinator Gardens

Pollination Guelph

Pollination Canada has regional planting guides to support pollinators and other online resources.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation has info on gardening for wildlife, including pollinators.

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum has info on different types of bees and what goes on in a hive.

Digging deeper

If you want to understand the decline of the bees, here are some interesting links: 

http://www.fairmont.com/infographics/the-decline-of-bees/ 

http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/honeybee-deaths/

http://www.gotmead.com/ is a resource for buying or making your own mead (honey wine) 

Shopping list

The Bee Shop

Ontario Beekeepers Association

 

Page updated on 2020-09-10 14:41:04