Did you know there are over 1000 species of pollinating animals in Canada?
Although more than 70% of the pollination services in Canada come from bees, Canada is home to more pollinators than just our buzzing friends.
Here’s a list of the top six pollinators in Canada:
There are a number of bee species found across Canada and North America that promotes pollination including honey bees, bumblebees, mason bees, sweat bees, and more! Because of the tiny hairs on their bodies, bees have the ability to pick up pollen when they drink nectar from a flower. Bees are often scurrying around collecting as much nectar as possible resulting in them visiting many plants as quickly as they can which helps with pollination.
The Rufous Hummingbird native to most of British Columbia, southern Yukon and western Alberta, as well as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird native from Alberta to Nova Scotia, are also Canadian pollinators. Although hummingbirds do not reach very much pollen, when they reach their long beaks into flowers for nectar, they help transfer pollen that gets on their upper body as they move from plant to plant.
In Canada, the Silvery Blue Butterfly that is native to all provinces and territories, the Monarch Butterfly native from British Columbia to Newfoundland and the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail native to Yukon and British Columbia to Newfoundland also act as pollinators. Butterflies may not necessarily be a top contributor to pollination, however, because they drink nectar bit by bit and land on plants fewer and farther between, they are key contributors to cross-pollination.
Moths such as the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth who are native through most of Canada with the exception of Nunavut, are contributors to pollination. These moths, which are often mistaken as hummingbirds and have a similar pollination process, will drink nectar from blooms with open or deep flowers and pollinate plants with the pollen that is caught in their upper bodies.
The Hover Fly, also known as the flower fly which mimics the colours of wasps and bees, is a nationwide native species that consumes nectar from plants like wild roses. They transfer pollen that sticks to their bodies as they travel from plant to plant.
Native across Canada, the Checkered Beetle contributes to the pollination process. Adult checkered beetles feed on pollen from plants. Pollen sticks to their bodies when they land on open flowers, transferring them from one to another.