by Sandy Garland

On 18 August, Véronique, Jasmine, and I did a survey of the gardens at Sunnyside library (see Finding pollinators at Sunnyside library) and the ones next to the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park.

The latter include beds of wildflowers, vegetables, heritage species, and shrubs in various theme plantings, so a great variety, but only a small number of each plant. Does that lead to a wide diversity of pollinators? Would pollinators even find these beds, tucked away in a corner of a mostly paved commercial complex?

Some of the raised beds next to the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne contain native species of perennials and shrubs.


Other beds are filled with vegetables, heritage and other significant varieties, including a Peter Rabbit bed with carrots, cabbages, and chamomile.

Below is a sample of the insects we found. All have been submitted to iNaturalist and its experts have identified some to species.

Very thin wasp (possibly Gasteruption sp.) nectaring on fennel.

Red-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus rufocinctus) on goldenrod.

Eastern Hornet Fly (Spilomyia longicornis) on goldenrod.

A tiny plant bug (Orthops scutellatus) on a fennel floret. When I looked at this photo on my computer, I noticed there are at least 2 other even smaller insects on the same flower cluster.

Humped Beewolf (Philanthus gibbosus) on goldenrod.

A house fly (Musca domestica), an accidental pollinator?

Four-banded Stink Bug Hunter Wasp (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus), definitely the pollinator with the longest name. On Flat-topped Aster (Doellingeria umbellata).

A very tiny black bee caught in flight, possibly a masked bee (Hylaeus sp.).

Brown-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollis) nectaring on Verbena bonariensis.

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) on chives.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) looking to lay eggs on one of the many plants in the cabbage family found here.

This Common Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria) has caught a fly and is eating its prey while dangling by one leg from a goldenrod flower.

A very tiny plant beetle perched on the tip of a sunflower petal.

Bicolored Striped Sweat Bee (Agapostemon virescens), one of the few pollinators I recognize on sight because of its brilliant colours. This one is on a marigold.

One of those tiny (3-4 mm) bees that is so hard to identify (Lasioglossum sp.).

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) on goldenrod.

Medium-sized bee (Melissodes sp.) completely covered in pollen.


In addition to the pollinators we photographed, we saw others that were too quick to capture and various numbers of these species. This is just a representative example. We are tabulating all of our data and hope they will reveal something about the various “habitats” we’ve surveyed and the best flowers for pollinators.

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