Plant a Flower Patch to Save the wild Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

I’m SO excited to discover this free eguide on helping our endangered wild bees, including the rusty-patched bumblebee. Written by bee scientist Sheila Colla, wildflower garden writer Lorraine Johnson, and illustrated by science illustrator Ann Sanderson, this little ebook gives you all the info and tools to create your own habitat for this endangered wild bee, and others.

A wild bee habitat can be in your garden, balcony, condo, deck, schoolyards, community centres, anywhere! The City of Toronto provided seed funding for the book as part of its excellent Biodiversity Strategy, which includes pollinator protection, and it is published by Friends of the Earth Canada.

Goldenrod is one of the best plants for wild bee habitat, and it does not cause hayfever.

Sadly, Canadians are largely focused on honeybees, (not native!) and too many have no idea how important our wild (native!) bees are. We wild bee-lovers at Toronto Gardens hope to change all that, by shouting out about this stellar tool for wild bee-knowledge.

In 2012, the rusty-patched bumblebee had the unfortunate distinction of being the first native bee in Canada to be officially designated as endangered. …Sheila Colla, was the last person in Canada to identify this bee in the wild, in 2009, by the side of a road in Pinery Provincial Park. Sheila had spent every summer since 2005 searching for the rusty-patched bumblebee in places where they had previously been recorded. On that summer day in 2009, she had found none and was on her way out of the park when, from the passenger window of the car, she spotted the distinctive rusty patch of a lone specimen.
This sighting was the last known for Canada.

What’s in the book?

  • Background on pollinators in the GTA, and why wild bees are in trouble
  • The climate change connection
  • Illustrated native plant profiles, and a note on non-native plants and cultivars
  • How to set up your garden, whatever type of garden you have
  • Bee habitat examples – (there are many!)
  • Designing and maintaining your patch

You can download the free Wild Bee Habitat ebook here.

Learn about Toronto’s Biodiversity Strategy here.

1 comment

  1. Sarah I don’t know why I missed this post before .. but wow, I am so sorry to hear that .. it is more than sad. It should be shocking to people and to gardeners in particular .. we should be more aware of this .. I had no idea. I know there are “lone bees” but I didn’t know about this one. On instinct I leave a standard run of the mill golden rod , with Joe Pye, and numerous others to help out as much as possible. My garden has shifted from being one of a kind cultivars, to mini mass plantings of more natives and beneficial insect friendly plants .. I hope that helps !

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