Bees and Pollinators
Food 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.
The City of Toronto has a draft Pollinator Protection Strategy with links to further resources and a new grant stream for pollinator gardens.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has a pollinator garden guide with plant lists and tips for a successful garden.
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
The Toronto Botanical Garden offers a courses for an Urban Beekeeping Certificate.
Humber Arboretum offers courses and a certificate program in sustainable urban beekeeping
Niagara College offers a commercial beekeeping program in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Toronto Bee Rescue will remove unwanted bees from your house. They also sell some honey products like honey, candles and vinegar.
Pollination Canada has instructions for building your own bee nests for pollinators.
If you want to attract pollinators in your garden, not just bees to produce honey, here are some links:
A regional guide for planting pollinator-friendly gardens.
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.
If you want to understand the decline of the bees, here are some interesting links:
http://www.gotmead.com/ is a resource for buying or making your own mead (honey wine)