Find out how to make your garden more attractive to local honey bees.
Here’s something to nurture your own well-being while helping to save the bees!
Today, for Pollinator Week, we’re publishing A Flower Patch for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee: Creating Habitat Gardens for Native Pollinators in the Greater Toronto Area. I want you, as an important supporter of the Bee Cause, to have a copy.
This publication makes the case for planting native plants to help native pollinators. By choosing native plants, you avoid the problem of potential pesticide contamination and create the crucial habitat needed by native bees.
You can count on me asking you for more help in the future to take action to save the bees. But for today, I hope you will find a shady spot to read this beautiful gardening e-guide by author and activist Lorraine Johnson and bee scientist Sheila Colla.
You might enjoy the backstory to this publication.
The City of Toronto had passed their Pollinator Protection Strategy in 2018. One day a passionate bee protector (that’s Patricia who works on the Horticulture team for the City) met with Lorraine and Sheila and talked about what people asked for that would help them put the Strategy to work. It seemed that both residents and horticulture staff wanted to know what plants to use to create a safe haven for pollinators.
So Lorraine and Sheila and the talented artist Ann Sanderson got busy preparing this guide with seed funding from Toronto when, pow, COVID-19 hit. Everything on the City’s agenda was frozen so they could focus on the pandemic.
Sheila Colla, a professor at York University, has been graciously giving us advice on our Bee Cause campaign for many years. She mentioned this work was stalled and asked whether we’d like to help. Friends of the Earth was involved in publishing Lorraine’s first book 30 years ago Green Future: How to Make a World of Difference, so it seemed highly appropriate to re-connect on this work.
Well, I’m sure you can understand the COVID-19 priority. But since no one knows how long the pandemic priority will last, I didn’t want this unique and important gardening guide to be mothballed.
Karen Cartier at Friends of the Earth and Dave O’Malley and Sandra Hamel of Aerographics design firm stepped up to a tight timeframe to produce this wonderful e-guide in a record-setting short schedule.
While this gardening guide is written for the Toronto area, you will find its text useful no matter where you live. Of course, you should check if the plant suggestions are appropriate for your area if you live outside the GTA.
I hope you will agree this gardening e-guide is a lovely gift from all those who worked to make it happen. I’d like to hear from you if you’re trying to move your community ahead on a pollinator strategy and a guide like this could help. Or, perhaps you are a bee scientist or know one who also has a local focus on native bees at risk – could she or he help focus in on those bees that need special attention in your area?