Pollinators

Green background

Pollination is the process of transferring pollen from the male to the female part of the plant. It is a critical part of a plant’s lifecycle and allows the plant to produce seeds and fruit. Seeds and fruit are what allow a plant to create new plants.

Pollinators are insects such as bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, flies, and beetles that transfer pollen from flower to flower as they forage for nectar and pollen. Even mammals and birds can be pollinators!

Bee City Canada

The City of Mississauga is excited to be designated as the 29th Bee City in Canada! Through this designation, the City of Mississauga is committed to (1) creating healthy pollinator habitat, (2) educating the community about the importance of pollinators and (3) celebrating pollinators.

Current initiatives in the city to enhance habitat for pollinators include pollinator gardens, incorporating native plants in park gardens, as well as educational campaigns and events to educate residents on how they can support pollinators at home, work and school.

The Parks, Forestry & Environment Division is also working on projects to restore and enhance natural areas in Mississauga through the One Million Trees program. Projects include tree and shrub planting, invasive species removal and stewardship of natural areas. The Division offers educational events and shares social media content about what the City is doing and what you can do to help pollinators.

Bee City Canada logo. Connecting people, pollinators and places

Bee hive at City Hall

In 2018, the City installed a beehive on the roof of City Hall as an educational piece and a way to engage the public in pollinator-related topics. Honeybees can be a great way to start the conversation about pollinators in urban areas.

The City’s mandate to protect, enhance, restore and expand our natural heritage system guides our activities with pollinators including bees. As such, the City looks at bees from an ecological perspective. This means we aim to support wild pollinators (including native wild bees) instead of honeybees which are introduced to Canada for agricultural purposes.

Native wild bee populations are declining which can lead to a decrease in biodiversity and ecosystem health. The City’s main focus is to support populations of native pollinators using tools such the bee hive as a conversation starter.

How you can help

By planting pollinator friendly plants in your garden, you can help enhance habitat for insects that pollinate wildflowers and crops that we eat.

The flowers in our Pollinator Promo Pack seed mix were selected to benefit a wide variety of pollinators and to provide a variety of bloom colour through the summer and fall.

Pollinator Promo Pack

You can plant these seeds in spring or fall. Loosen soil first and then scatter seeds on top. Keep soil moist after planting.

Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Yellow rudbeckia flowers in the garden, focus on flower in front

  • Bright yellow flowers with a brown or black cone in the center will bloom from June to September
  • Plant in full sun or partial sun in moist, well-drained soil
  • Grows 1-3 feet tall and can grow between 12 and 18 inches across
  • Beneficial for butterflies, bees, beetles, wasps, and flies
  • Flower petals darken towards the centre of the plant, which is caused by an ultraviolet pigment that attracts pollinators
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Close up of a group of purple New England Asters (Symphyotrichum nova-angliae)

  • Flowers with numerous rays, dark purple to pink in colour from August to October
  • Plant in full sun or partial sun in moist, well-drained soil
  • Grows 1-6 feet tall and can grow between 2-4 feet across
  • Beneficial for moths, butterflies (including Monarchs), bees and flies
  • Blooms later in the season which provides a critical fall nectar source for many pollinators
Sweet Ox-Eye/False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)

Garden with a very pretty yellow false sunflower blooming.

  • Flowers with 8-20 yellow rays, brown center florets from July to October
  • Plant in full sun in moist, well-drained soil
  • Grows 2-6 feet tall and can grow up to 2 feet across
  • Beneficial for bees, beetles and butterflies (in particular the Painted Lady and Skipper)
  • Species name “Heliopsis” is derived from the Greek word Helios, which means Sun
Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)

White flower with small purple spots on green stem

  • Tiny white flowers with purple spots arranged in clusters will bloom from July to September
  • Plant in full sun in moist, well-drained soil
  • Grows up to 3 feet tall but sometimes larger
  • Beneficial for butterflies, bees and moths
  • A member of the mint family, this plant has a square stem with flat edges
Grey Headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

Grey-headed coneflower in a natural habitat

  • Yellow flowers with 5-10 rays that droop downward and cone-shaped centres that start out ashy grey but will turn brown as flowers open
  • Flowers will bloom from May to October
  • Plant in full sun or partial sun in dry to moist soil
  • Grows 3-5 feet tall
  • Beneficial for bees and butterflies as well as a great food source for livestock and wildlife

Additional Resources

Check out these links to additional resources to help you learn how to support native pollinators in your own yard.