June 19 – 25, 2023 is Pollinator Week.
What everyone can do for pollinators:
- Watch for pollinators. Get connected with nature. Take a walk, experience the landscape and look for pollinators’ midday in sunny, planted areas.
- Reduce your impact. Reduce or eliminate your pesticide use, increase green spaces, and minimize urbanization. Pollution and climate change affect pollinators, too!
- Plant for pollinators. Create pollinator-friendly habitat with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and homes. What you can do for pollinators:
- Create a pollinator-friendly garden habitat in just a few simple steps.
- Design your garden so that there is a continuous succession of plants flowering from spring through fall. Check for the species or cultivars best suited to your area and gradually replace lawn grass with flower beds.
- Plant native to your region using plants that provide nectar for adults plus food for insect larvae, such as milkweed for monarchs. If you do use non-native plants, choose ones that don’t spread easily, since these could become invasive.
- Select old-fashioned varieties of flowers whenever possible because breeding has caused some modern blooms to lose their fragrance and/or the nectar/pollen needed to attract and feed pollinators.
- Install ‘houses’ for bats and native bees. For example, use wood blocks with holes or small open patches of mud. As little as 12” across is sufficient for some bees.
- Avoid pesticides, even so-called “natural” ones such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). If you must use them, use the most selective and least toxic ones and apply them at night when most pollinators aren’t active.
- Supply water for all wildlife .A dripping faucet or a suspended milk carton with a pin hole in the bottom is sufficient for some insects. Other wildlife need a small container of water.
- Provide water for butterflies without letting it become a mosquito breeding area. Refill containers daily or bury a shallow plant saucer to its rim in a sunny area, fill it with coarse pine bark or stones and fill to overflowing with water.
- Share fun facts, such as: a tiny fly(a “midge”)no bigger than a pinhead is responsible for the world’s supply of chocolate; or one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat is delivered to us by pollinators.
These tips are provided by the Pollinator Partnership.
Native Plant Guides for the Calgary Area
Bumble Bee Information from ABC Bees
- Bumble Bee Conservation
- Bumble Bee Life Cycle
- Bumble Bees of Alberta
- Facts Sheet Bumble Bees
- Gardening for Bees with Stacey Cedergren
Bee a Citizen Scientist
- Learn more and participate in the Calgary Pollinator Count.
- Photographing Pollinators Guide
- Timed Pollinator Count Guide
- Watch the “How to do a Pollinator Count” YouTube video
- iNaturalist Calgary Pollinators