Guess how many types of bee call Ontario home?

When we think of bees, we often picture honey bees. We imagine a swarm buzzing around a honeycomb hive.

But honey bees are just one of 400 different types of bees in Ontario (and we’re discovering new bee species all the time!).

And honey bees aren’t even a native species.

In fact, honey bees are relatively new to Ontario. They were an agricultural import, brought to North America for honey production and crop pollination. Before honey bees crossed the ocean, Ontario’s major pollinators were native bees, whose behaviour is often very different from the stereotypical honey bees.

Here are five other types of bees buzzing around our parks:

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In search of Rusty and other adventures

Sarah Litterick is a Canadian nature nerd, fungi hunter, hiking enthusiast, beach bum, animal lover, and photographer. Sarah is currently upgrading her education with hopes of enrolling in the Wildlife Biology and Conservation program at the University of Guelph.

I’ll be honest: all my life I have had an intense aversion to insects, especially the stinging kind. I don’t know where this deep fear came from, but more than once, I have taken flight in a screaming dash because an insect came too close.

Nonetheless, in 2015, I joined the Friends of Pinery Park Board of Directors and was looking for ways I could get more involved in park projects.

That year, I signed up for their first-ever Bumble Bee Survey. The survey was a citizen science project and joint venture between the park and Wildlife Preservation Canada, along with many other supporters.

I honestly don’t know what made me say “yes” to this project, but I am glad I did.

Continue reading In search of Rusty and other adventures