Learning to Create Pollinator Habitat from Our Northern Neighbors
With A Flower Patch for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee: Creating Habitat Gardens for Native Pollinators in the Greater Toronto Area, Friends of the Earth Canada (FoE) has produced a booklet that is both informative and incredibly beautiful - an inspiration and a true pleasure to scroll through.
Written by Lorraine Johnson and Sheila Colla, with gorgeous illustrations by Ann Sanderson, the booklet was created by FoE in support of Toronto’s Pollinator Protection Strategy.
Why name the booklet after one particular native bee? "In 2012, the rusty-patched bumblebee had the unfortunate distinction of being the first native bee in Canada to be officially designated as endangered. One of the authors of this book, 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."
While the exact causes of this bee’s rapid decline have yet to be confirmed, the most likely culprits will sound familiar to Pollinator Pathway supporters: "loss and fragmentation of habitat, including nesting and foraging opportunities; disease and comp