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Our Urban Pollinators

Our Urban Pollinators will get you buzzing about bees, butterflies, birds and some-thousand other pollinating insects and animals! You’ll learn about the major threats facing pollinators and actions that students can take to protect them.

In July 2014, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) reported that more than half of Canada's honey bees did not survive the "polar vortex" (the winter of 2013–14). The steep decline in honey bee populations has been attributed to a number of things, such as climate change, habitat loss and neonicotinoid pesticides, and we encounter a similar story when we move beyond bees and consider other urban pollinators. Our Urban Pollinators will introduce you to bees, butterflies, birds and some-thousand other pollinating insects and animals and the important roles that these species play in ecosystems and in producing human food and other plant products. You will leave this workshop ready to engage your students with species they can see buzzing, flitting, soaring and flying around the city.

© Kendal Gerard

A typical workshop will include:

  1. A guided field trip to a conservation area, urban park, school farm or elsewhere to observe pollinators in the wild
  2. From butterfly tagging to bird banding, information about how to contribute to citizen science projects that monitor pollinator populations
  3. The creation of a bee condo, birdfeeder, bat box or butterfly house, which you can use to attract pollinators to your schoolyard
  4. An overview of the major threats facing pollinators and how students can help protect pollinators
  5. Lots of take-away resources and equipment, plus up to two hours of personal, follow-up support, to help you bring what you have learned to life at your school

Curriculum Connections

The content covered in Our Urban Pollinators can be applied across numerous grades and subjects taught in Ontario. However, we find connections to the following courses and strands are some of the strongest:

                

   

                

STEM Education

Our Urban Pollinators helps teachers incorporate STEM education and STSE expectations into everyday lessons. Teachers who participate in this workshop will:

  • Learn about methods for monitoring pollinator populations
  • Grow pollinator-friendly native plants
  • Create and keep a field journal
  • Discover career opportunities in the field
  • Construct a bee hotel, birdfeeder or butterfly house

Upcoming dates for this workshop:

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