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Canada's MVPs (Most Valuable Pollinators)

Tuesday, June 21st 2022, 10:15 am - The next time you see a pollinator, give it some space. It has important work to do.

We owe a lot to pollinators.

Some scientists believe they are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food we eat, and they help sustain our ecosystems by helping plants reproduce.

Here are four pollinator species you can find in Canada, and one honourable mention.

1. BEES

Bee - UGC - Kendra Forester Courtesy: Kendra Forester.

Bees of all types are an important part of the ecosystem. On a global scale, they pollinate upwards of 80 per cent of the world's plants across 90 different food crops. A 2006 study found bees affect about one-third of the world's food production. There are 855 species of bees that are native to Canada and around 16,000 species of bees worldwide.

VIDEO: BEE POLLINATING FLOWERS

2. BIRDS

Hummingbird - Toonie Irvine - Ugc Courtesy: Toonie Irving.

There are around 2,000 species of wildflower-pollinating birds on the planet, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

In Canada, one of the most popular pollinating birds is the hummingbird. On a global scale, upwards of 7000 plant species rely on hummingbirds to pollinate them.

3. MOTHS

WIKIPEDIA - Moth Source: Wikipedia.

Moths are important night-time pollinators, according to a recent study in the journal Biology Letters.

The paper found moths are important, and often overlooked night-shift pollinator that visits more plant species than bees.

"[Nocturnal moths] complement the work of daytime pollinators, helping to keep plant populations diverse and abundant," Richard Walton, an environmental scientist at University College London and lead author of the study, said in a news release.

4. BUTTERFLIES

Butterfly Kim Anderson, St. Catharines, Ontario - UGC Courtesy: Kim Anderson.

Butterflies are active daytime pollinators, visiting a range of wildflowers.

Unlike bees, butterflies can see red, and they prefer bright red, yellow, and orange flowers that typically bloom in clusters and have landing platforms.

VIDEO: MONARCH BUTTERFLY INSPECTS FLOWERS

HONOURABLE MENTION: BATS

There are no pollinating species of bats in Canada but they are important contributors in tropical and desert climates. According to the University of California, bats pollinate over 300 species of fruit.

Bat - US Forest service Courtesy: U.S. Forest Service.

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