A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

Creating Habitat for Native Pollinators: Ontario and Great Lakes Edition

Lorraine Johnson, Sheila Colla


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Support biodiversity with this practical guide to creating habitat gardens for native pollinators in Southern Ontario.

Saving the bees is an environmental cause that resonates deeply with Canadians. While much of the popular focus is on honeybees, an introduced species, many people are largely unaware of the importance of native bees. These pollinators are of crucial importance and are threatened by climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, and disease and competition from non-native species and modern intensive agriculture.

A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee provides all the information needed for gardeners to take action to support and protect pollinators—by creating habitat in yards and communal spaces, and on balconies and rooftops.

There are approximately 400 species of native bees in Ontario, including bumblebees, sweat bees, mining bees, cuckoo bees, leafcutter bees and cellophane bees. This book introduces and deepens the concept of pollinator gardening—creating gardens that help bees thrive—by exploring specialist relationships. For example, the native-to-Ontario sweat bee Lasioglossum oenotherae specializes in pollen from the native evening primrose plant.

With plant recommendations specific to Southern Ontario, as well as useful garden designs and numerous tips for success, this compact, full-colour guide will enable gardeners to discover the crucial connections between native plants and native pollinators—and learn how to cultivate their own patch of pollinator paradise.


Lorraine Johnson:
Lorraine Johnson lives in Toronto, ON and has been researching and writing about environmental issues for three decades. She is a community activist and advocate for protecting, supporting and growing the urban forest. Johnson is the author or editor of fourteen books, including 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens (Douglas & McIntyre, 2017).|||Sheila Colla is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, ON. She works closely with environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and government agencies to implement the best available science in policy and land management. She co-authored The Bumblebees of North America: An Identification Guide (Princeton University Press, 2014) and helps run the citizen science program Bumble Bee Watch.