Hamilton is the 39th city in Canada to be designated as a Bee City. We commit to continue to create new pollinator habitat, provide education and community outreach opportunities, and look for innovative ways to celebrate pollinators in our city.
What is a Bee City?
A Bee City is part of a North American movement to support pollinator protection. Bee City communities support collaboration and establish and maintain healthy pollinator habitat within the municipality or First Nation’s boundaries.
Bee City Projects in Hamilton
York Blvd. demonstration garden
When you walk down York Boulevard you will encounter a parkette blooming with well-maintained gardens scattered among several mature trees. Swallowtail butterflies, Monarchs, wild bees, birds, and myriad insects bustle energetically around the strictly native-species plants.
There is a lovely ten-panel wide mural that serves as a backdrop to this delightful scene. It was created by local school children from Hess Elementary School, under the design and guidance of community art educator, Gerten Bosom, and depicts pollinators in bright, bold colours-- a sight that is especially welcoming to the eye during the drab winter months when the gardens lie dormant.
This city-owned parkette was previously identified in 2017 by staff with the Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Project (PPP) as an ideal site to plant pollinator-attracting gardens.
An initiative of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club and Environment Hamilton, the PPP has been building a network of native species habitat across the city since 2014, with the help of the community, the goal being to enhance local biodiversity and provide beneficial food and shelter for rapidly declining pollinator populations.
A win-win for everyone, ongoing maintenance is shared between the two parties, with city staff regularly mowing the grass between gardens, and PPP staff and volunteers watering and weeding the patches.
Local residents have shared that the gardens serve as a teaching site (given the plaque that describes the plants growing in the gardens), and a number of them have been inspired further and planted their own pollinator patches at home.
PPP hopes to continue working with the City to create even more gardens and help build corridors of native species throughout every ward.
Waste Management facility pollinator gardens
Basking logs and a floating platform were installed in on-site drainage ponds and the wildlife team installed nesting structures for Wood Ducks, Mallards, Bluebirds and Purple Martins.
To enhance foraging habitat for the Bluebirds and Purple Martins, mowing is reduced in the vicinity of those structures. Bat boxes were also put up in appropriate locations on site. The nesting and roosting structures are regularly monitored, and employees and committee members are encouraged to report wildlife sightings, which are logged to document the growth of biodiversity on-site.
Drinking water fountain wraps
2020 Bee City Designation Video
Watch the Hamilton Bee City Designation Video to find out more about Bee City Canada and projects and activities across Hamilton which have qualified The City as a Bee City
What is a pollinator?
A pollinator is anything that helps carry pollen. The movement of pollen must occur for the plant to become fertilized and produce fruits, seeds, and young plants. Some plants are self-pollinating, while others may be fertilized by pollen carried by wind or water.
Pollinators are vital to creating and maintaining habitats and ecosystems that many animals rely on for food or shelter.
What is a pollinator garden?
A pollinator garden is designed and planted with pollinators in mind offering a wide variety of flowers and plants, these gardens promote the visiting of pollinators.
Planting Pollinator Friendly Gardens
Choose plants native to Southern Ontario so they will thrive without the addition of fertilizers and pesticides
Choose nectar and pollen-rich flowers with a range of shapes, sizes and colours to attract a variety of pollinators
Have several different plants in bloom from early spring through late fall to maximize the effectiveness of your pollinator habitat
Plant in drifts of at least three or more of one kind and keep same plants close together
Follow these links for more useful tools, tips and strategies to grow a pollinator paradise and support local pollinator populations:
Take the Pollinator Pledge
Partners in Pollination
The pollinator team includes representatives from organizations around Hamilton who work together to enhance space for pollinators.
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