Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pollinator favourite

Our oak leaf mountain ash is in bloom right now with these pretty white flowers and oodles of insects creating a cloud around it.

'Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma; self pollination takes place within a flower while cross pollination is when the pollen moves between two different plants.
There has been a decrease in the number of pollinators due to agricultural practices, pesticides, habitat destruction and fragmentation as well as diseases and parasites. Insect pollination is a 217 billion dollars a year global expense and the decline of pollinators will increase the cost of food which ultimately affects the farmers.
There are many kinds of pollinators such as small winged varieties of flies, beetles and bees as well as big winged butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Hawk moths, also known as hummingbird moths are similar in appearance, hover at flowers and visit the same tubular nectar sources as the hummingbird. Various flowers that depend on hummingbirds have adapted their means of transferring pollen by having it rub off on the head, throat or chin of this tiny wonder.' (excerpt from my column this week)

Just look at the pollen this bee is collecting from the mountain ash blossoms!

Red admiral butterflies are visiting the flowers too for nectar.

There is a pilot project underway by the conservation and environment volunteers of the Ontario Horticultural Association to create a roadside natural habitat for native pollinators on Coulter Street in Barrie. The initial plot is three by six metres (10x20 feet) on a south facing slope that will host native plants gathered from wild seed in Ontario and purchased from a specialized native plant nursery.
The city of Barrie has gone over the area twice with weed trimmers and a thick layer of newspaper will be laid with unamended lean soil dropped on top and then the plants dug in. If successful, these roadside projects will be implemented across Ontario. The website is


  1. A perfect bee shot, our chokecherry was busy, busy last week. A wonderful idea by the OHA, hopefully it will be a popular idea. Take care.

  2. Hi Judith, Wow.. what an incredible bee shot!! I love the efforts that your city is making for the conservacy of the red admiral butterfly! Good luck on it being a well received, by the butterflies and the people!

  3. How interesting. We should appreciate those tiny creatures' job of pollination. Great shots!

  4. Love the picture of the bee on the flowers. Good capture. Valerie


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