Native Bee Nest in George Ben Park

Native Bee Nest in George Ben Park!

If you have been wandering through George Ben Park you might have noticed something new on the redbud tree in the North West corner. A little cylinder with holes. This addition is a native bee box! It is one of about 100 placed all over the City. The box provides nesting space for solitary bees that like to nest in hollowed out cavities, like old beetle burrows or hollow plant stems.

A PhD Candidate named Charlotte de Keyzer at the University of Toronto is researching the wild bee community in Toronto collecting data through the bee boxes. If bees choose to nest in the box then she will bring that box back to the lab to check on the health of the developing bees, identify them to species, and sample the pollen provisions to find out which flowers are most important for these bees.

Redbud trees are highly attractive to a lot of Spring bees so they provide a focal point for the study. They are also attractive to Summer Leafcutter bees that like to use pieces of redbud leaves as nesting material.

You can learn more about this project by visiting her website or by listening to a recent episode on CBC’s Here and Now talking about the nest boxes