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About Bees:

There are over 360 species of wild native bees in Toronto.

Wild bees don't produce honey and don't live in hives.

They are solitary and harmless.

 

  • The honey bee is an introduced species from Europe.

  • Wild bees are the most efficient pollinators. Different species still fly when it is windy or cold or rainy.

  • 30% of Toronto's bees, and some butterflies, hibernate and lay eggs in hollow sticks and deadwood. They only emerge at the end of May. Please, keep your garden waste till then.

  • The hollow canes of raspberry shrubs are most beneficial for those cavity-nesting bees. Grow native raspberries, enjoy their fruit, and leave the dead canes till the end of May. If you really want to cut back, leave at least 20 cm.

  • 70% of native bees are ground-nesting and need sunny, bare patches of soil as habitat to hibernate and breed. Keep some areas un-mulched, best in sunny spots, the more the better. Covering lightly with leaves is the second-best option.

  • Bumblebees emerge very early in spring and males can still be seen until late in fall.

  • Other species of wild bees have a very short window in which they emerge and collect nectar & pollen to deposit with their eggs. They rely on native, co-evolved plants that bloom at exactly that time they emerge. The different kinds of bees also depend on the specific physiology of the native plants with which they have co-evolved.