National Pollinator Week celebrates pollinators and raises awareness about how to protect them

Summer has arrived, and with it comes the familiar sounds of early morning bird calls, leaves whispering in the wind, and cicadas calling in the treetops.

But the once familiar buzz of a bee has become less common these days. Like most pollinators, bees are under threat. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help the bees. Join us in celebrating National Pollinator Week, which runs until Sunday, June 24th.

If you are to conjure up the image of a bee, what comes to mind? Most of us may think of its black and yellow stripes, hear its buzzing sound, salivate at the thought of tasting delicious honey, or maybe even cringe at the idea of a possible sting!

These traditional bee images we think of are all about the honeybee — but if you spend a few minutes watching flowers in your yard, you will realize that there is great diversity in the bee world.

It is estimated that 200,000 animal species pollinate plants, with bees leading the way. There are over 300 different species of bees in Ontario, each of them adapted for our environment here. Their relationship with flowering plants has evolved over the past 100 million years, with 20,000 bee species worldwide now relying on flowers as their buffet.