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.
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. You can purchase the hard copy and see more of the authors' work at https://lorrainejohnson.ca/ and https://www.savethebumblebees.ca/.
David Suzuki Foundation's list of habitat gardening resources.
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
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.Humber Arboretum
Niagara College offers a commercial beekeeping program in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Seneca College also gives workshops on beekeeping
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 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)