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Bee City

Bee City Kawartha Lakes Logo 2024

Welcome to Bee City Kawartha Lakes!

We are proud to announce that Kawartha Lakes has been officially recognized as a Bee City by Bee City Canada. This designation reflects our commitment to promoting healthy pollinator populations and actively preserving and creating pollinator habitats.

Being a Bee City aligns with the goals outlined in our Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. It encourages community engagement and underscores our support for fostering healthy ecosystems and sustainable food sources.

To discover more about the Bee City program, visit the Bee City Canada website.

Join us in our mission to support pollinators and create a thriving environment for all!

Our Bee City Mandate

  1. Create and Conserve Habitat: We are committed to establishing and preserving habitats that support pollinators, ensuring they have the resources they need to thrive.

  2. Educate: We believe that knowledge is key to fostering a community that values and protects pollinators. Through educational initiatives and outreach efforts, we aim to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and the actions individuals can take to support them.

  3. Celebrate Pollinator Week: Every year, during the third week of June, we come together to celebrate Pollinator Week. This is a time to recognize the vital role pollinators play in our ecosystem.

Join the Pollinator Action Committee

The Pollinator Action Committee is at the heart of our efforts to fulfill the Bee City mandate. We plan and execute activities aimed at creating a more pollinator-friendly community. If you're passionate about pollinator conservation and want to make a difference, we invite you to join us!

To get involved, please contact us at

Stay Connected

Don't miss out on the buzz! Hit that like button on our Bee City Facebook page to stay updated on all things pollinator-related!

To receive the latest news from Bee City Kawartha Lakes, send us an email at and we'll add you to our mailing list.

Events and important dates for 2024


  • Pollinator week kids colouring contest: May 23 to June 23

  • 5th Annual "Bee a Hero" garden contest: Dates coming soon!


  • 2023 Bee a Hero awards presentation at Committee of the Whole meeting: April 9, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

  • Bee City Kawartha Lakes at Settlers' Day in Bobcaygeon: June 8, 2024
  • Bee City Kawartha Lakes at the Monarch Ultra and Festival in Peterborough: September 21, 2024

  • 4th Annual Biking for Pollinators Event: Dates coming soon!

  • Bee City Kawartha Lakes seed library grand opening at Ballyduff Trail: Dates coming soon!

  • 100 Plant Giveaway at the Lindsay Farmers' Market: Dates coming soon!


Pollinator week logo 2024

Important dates

2024 Bee a Hero garden contest


The 5th Annual Bee a Hero garden challenge!

Contest dates coming soon!

Scientists are ringing the alarm bells that our native pollinators are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. Bee Heroes help these essential critters by creating a pollinator habitat in their own backyard, farm or balcony and taking before and after pictures.

All you'll need to do to enter the 2024 contest is take a before picture of your garden or container prior to it being planted, and then an after picture once it has grown and upload your photos to our online submission form. Both old and new gardens can enter.

Contestant gardens will then be reviewed by our team and our winners will be determined.

Prizes will be awarded across a few categories, including:

  • Children's Garden (12 and younger)
  • Adult's Garden (13 and older)
  • Container Garden

Winners will be chosen at the end of the submission period and they’ll be recognized and honoured for their great work by the Mayor and Council in a presentation at a future Council meeting. Participant's before and after pictures of their gardens, along with the write-up about their garden, will be included in the presentation to Council.

Please submit any questions to


Thank you to our 2023 participants!

2023 Bee a Hero Garden Challenge photos coming soon! In the meantime, visit our Newsroom and KawarthaNOW to find out more about our 2023 participants!

Thank you to our 2022 participants!

Photo Gallery: 2022 Bee a Hero Garden Challenge will appear here on the public site.

Thank you to our 2021 participants!

Photo Gallery: 2021 Bee a Hero Garden Challenge will appear here on the public site.

Biking for Pollinators

On October 4, the Kawartha Lakes Cycling Club in collaboration with the Pollinator Action Committee of Kawartha Lakes held a Biking for Pollinators ride from Lindsay to Fenelon Falls distributing native wildflower seeds along the way.

Photo Gallery: Biking for pollinators will appear here on the public site.

Get on the map! Register your pollinator pathway habitat

A pollinator garden takes into account the needs of pollinators - bees, moths, beetles, butterflies and hummingbirds - by providing nectar and pollen. It is pesticide free and offers a variety of native species that bloom from spring through fall with flowers of different colours, shapes and sizes to suit all pollinators' tastes. Its habitat features can include a small water source, bee nesting sites and larval plants such as milkweed for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. Your pollinator garden can begin as a container or span a full yard.

Anyone can participate: residents, schools, churches, businesses and farms. By planting pollinator-friendly plants, we are building a corridor across CKL. The database you are helping to create can be used to ascertain what our pollinator corridor looks like, what plant species are doing well here and what seasonal gaps are occurring so we can encourage planting of a wider variety of plants.

Help build our Pollinator Pathways and get on the map! Register your Bee City Kawartha Lakes Pollinator Pathway.

Pollinator Pathway Map

Message to aspiring new beekeepers

Learn from your local Central Ontario Beekeepers Association

Advice from a veteran beekeeper:

Plan to study beekeeping for at least a year before even thinking about getting your own bees.

1) Take a beekeeping course

2) Join the Central Ontario Beekeepers Association discussion group

3) Subscribe to a magazine

4) Team up and work with an experienced beekeeper


Youth Environmental Heroes honoured this week

The 2019 Youth Hero was awarded to the junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten classes of Dunsford District Elementary School for their involvement as leaders in the Bee School application and project launch. For the full story, please read the Kawarth411 article.

Bee friendly: City of Kawartha Lakes stands up for pollinators

The City of Kawartha Lakes has joined the ranks of Bee Cities in Canada. For more details, visit Global News Peterborough.

Decommissioned Fenelon Falls landfill repurposed for bee population

The City of Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee (CKLEAC) is piloting a project to turn part of the decommissioned land at the Fenelon Falls landfill into a positive source of habitat and food for insects. For more details, read the news article in Kawartha411.

City celebrates its first year as a “Bee City”

The City of Kawartha Lakes is celebrating the one year anniversary this July of its designation as a Bee City. The City would like to recognize the hard work and effort that has been made by City residents, communities and organizations towards raising awareness about the importance of pollination. Read the full release under the City's news section.

Bobcaygeon's Jerry Jerrard is responsible for millions of lives

With roughly 500 hives spread out between several locations in the Kawartha Lakes, Jerrard enjoys sharing the ‘buzz’ on Earth’s sweetest pollinator. Please visit The Peterborough Examiner's website to read more.

Kawartha Settlers' Village designated as a Bee Business by Bee City Canada

Bobcaygeon's Kawartha Settlers' Village was designated as a Bee Business by Bee City Canada. Guests who visit Kawartha Settlers’ Village will now be able to learn about traditional beekeeping and enjoy garden areas that include wildflowers, shrubs and trees that are important to pollinators.

Fenelon Falls resident wants you to celebrate Bee City Pollinators

Susan Blayney, a 10 year resident of the Fenelon Falls area is proud to have led the Environmental Advisory Committee's Bee City initiative and is now the Chair of Fenelon Falls' very own Pollinator Action Committee.

Pollinator-friendly projects in Kawartha Lakes

Fenelon Falls landfill pollinator project

This project is a multi-year project which began in 2015 and was planted in 2017. It was proposed to Kawartha Lakes Waste Management by the Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee and approved by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.


1.5 acres of the final cover of a decommissioned cell at the landfill site has been sown with a pollinator-friendly seed mix to enhance habitat instead of the usual grass seed mix. There is a plan to have students from Fleming College monitor the site using the Ontario Pollinator Monitoring Protocol developed at the University of Guelph.

Fenelon Falls Landfill Site Map Photo

Fenelon Falls Landfill - site map photo


Fenelon Falls Landfill before photo

Fenelon Falls Landfill - before photo


Fenelon Falls Landfill in bloom photo

Fenelon Falls Landfill - "in bloom" after photo


KRCA Windy Ridge pollinator patches

In 2019, collaboration between Bee City Kawartha Lakes, Kawartha Conservation and Pollinator Partnership Canada culminated in the planting of two new pollinator patches at the Windy Ridge Conservation Area. Students from nearby Scott Young Elementary School in Omemee were bussed in to plant 100 native flower species to enhance the habitat. Learning outside of the classroom is the best.

windy ridge pollinator pathway


windy ridge pollinator pathway


windy ridge pollinator patch

Bee-friendly community initiatives

  • Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society: Lock 34 Pollinator Garden, Fenelon Museum Victory Garden and (with the support of KRCA) Rain Garden
  • Omemee Garden Club Pollinator Garden at the Fire Hall
  • Bobcaygeon Wilderness Park Pollinator Garden
  • Lindsay Community Gardens
  • Lilac Gardens of Lindsay
  • Fleming College's Frost Campus Butterfly Garden
  • Fenelon Falls Lock 34, Pollinator Garden
  • The Rosedale Pollinator Garden in the Trent-Severn Parkette
  • Seeds of Kindness Fruit Trees, Orchard Park, Lindsay
  • Lindsay Garden Club Bee Hotel, Mayor Flynn Park, Lindsay


Bee schools

Individual schools can become part of the Bee City family by making a pledge to protect pollinators and their habitats. Learn the 3 Simple Steps to becoming a Bee School.

We currently have 2 officially designated Bee Schools in Kawartha Lakes: Langton Public in Fenelon Falls and Dunsford District Elementary.


Langton Public School - Bee City

Congratulations to Langton Public School in Fenelon Falls on being designated the 14th Bee School in Canada.
This is the accomplishment of the school's Green Team and teacher Candice Milroy.


In their acceptance letter Bee City Canada states:
I am simply amazed by all that you have accomplished in such a short period of time. From composting at your school (not many schools I know of in Toronto compost), to getting involved with the local horticultural group, to growing organic food, building bee homes, to partnering with a local MP and getting the Blue Dot program into Fenelon Falls, to sharing the food you are growing with others in need, and a host of so many other initiatives that you have undertaken, I must applaud all
of you!

Dunsford Public Bee School


Here’s what they say on the Bee City Canada website:

“On behalf of our Kindergarten team at Dunsford District Elementary School, we are elated to have been named the 25th Bee School in Canada.  Our students have been busy planting gardens, planning a school wide spirit day, and preparing for our off site trip to kick off pollinator week at a garden unveiling in our community. We look forward to the many opportunities ahead to promote the bees, their importance and provide the rest of our school community with the knowledge that our kindergartens have acquired along our journey to become a Bee School.”

Citizen science

Learn to identify Pollinators and support scientific research:

 Pollinator-friendly gardens

You can help pollinators by creating foraging and nesting opportunities in your garden. Here are some tips to attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

Plant native

Choose native shrubs, trees and perennial flowers rich in pollen and nectar. Locally grown and pesticide free are best. For native plants, visit Kawartha Conservation.

Mass plantings

Planting multiples of the same plant together in large groupings makes it easier for pollinators to find and collect pollen.

Choose single blooms

Double or triple bloom flowering varieties with lots of petals can block access to pollen and nectar.

Continuous bloom

Pollinators need a continuous source of pollen and nectar; so choose a variety of plants that will bloom from spring to fall.

Plant host plants

Butterflies lay their eggs on specific plants. Monarch butterflies, for example, will only lay their eggs on milkweed, the sole food source for their larva.

Provide water

A bird bath or shallow dish of water with half-submerged rocks will help bees and butterflies quench their thirst.

Provide sun

Butterflies like to bask in the sun, so place a few flat rocks in sunny, sheltered locations.

Keep it natural

Converting a lawn or garden to concrete, gravel, mulch or artificial turf reduces valuable food and nesting sites.

Bare ground

Many native bees build nests in soil, so leave some bare patches and limit your use of mulch.

Leave dead stems

Some bees hibernate and lay eggs in hollow stems. If you do cut, leave the bottom 8 inches or bundle the stems and place them in your garden.

Leave the leaves

Leave the leaves where they fall or rake them into your garden to provide overwintering habitat for butterflies.

Prune and deadhead

Remove dead flower heads to encourage new growth and extend the flowering season.

Reduce mowing

To avoid disturbing ground nesting bees, mow your lawn less often and set the blade at the highest level possible.

Avoid pesticides

Avoid plants/seeds treated with systemic insecticides, such as neonicotinoids. And don't spray pesticides. Pesticide Bylaw bans the cosmetic use of pesticides.

Turn off lights

Help our nocturnal pollinators such as moths by remembering to turn out your outdoor lights at night.

Kawartha Lakes native plant guide and local plant growers

Native wildflowers and shrubs for pollinators and butterflies

  • Shrubs

  • Pussy Willow

  • Saskatoon Serviceberry

  • Chokecherry

  • Blueberry

  • Nannyberry

  • Red Elderberry

  • Black Elderberry

  • Common Snowberry

  • Downy Serviceberry

  • New Jersey Tea

  • Wild Flowers

  • Hepatica

  • Trillium

  • Trout Lilly

  • Canada Violet

  • Yellow Wood Violet

  • Wild Columbine

  • Canada Wild Ginger

  • Wild Blue Lupine

  • Blanket Flower

  • Wild Strawberry

  • Prairie Smoke

  • Bloodroot

  • Shrubs

  • Staghorn Sumac

  • Elderberry

  • Red Raspberry

  • Blueberry

  • Shrubby Cinquefoil

  • Ninebark

  • Northern Smooth Rose

  • Buttonbush

  • Fragrant Sumac

  • Wild Flowers

  • Common Yarrow

  • Purple Cone Flower

  • Black Cohosh

  • Lavender Hyssop

  • Pearly Everlasting

  • Wild Columbine

  • Canada Wild Ginger

  • Wild Blue Lupine

  • Wild Bergamot

  • Common Milkweed

  • Butterfly Milkweed

  • Swamp Milkweed

  • Great Blue Lobelia

  • Blanket Flower

  • Tansey

  • Lance Leaved Coreopsis

  • Black Eyed Susan

  • Soapwort

  • Bottlebrush Grass

  • Indian Grass

  • Canada Rye Grass

  • Sweet Oxeye

  • Ragged Blazing Star

  • Grey Headed Coneflower

  • Dense Blazing Star

  • Cardinal Flower

  • Hoary Vervain

  • Bee balm

  • Shrubs

  • Witch Hazel

  • Buttonbush

  • Wild Flowers

  • Common Yarrow

  • Purple Cone Flower

  • Black Cohosh

  • Lavender Hyssop

  • Pearly Everlasting

  • Bergamot

  • Helen's Flower/Sneezeweed

  • Spotted Joe Pie Weed

  • Boneset

  • Great Blue Lobelia

  • Blanket Flower

  • Black Eyed Susan

  • Cardinal Flower

  • Turtlehead

  • Ironweed

  • Zig-Zag Goldenrod

  • Upland White Goldenrod

  • Stiff Leaved Goldenrod

  • Foxglove Beardtongue

  • New England Aster

  • Flat Topped White Aster

  • Smooth Aster

  • Heath Aster

  • Heart-Leaved Aster

  • Smooth Aster

  • Panicled Aster

Native plant and pollinator resources

Grow Wild!

Paul Heydon

3784 Highway 7

Omemee, ON, K0L 2W0

Phone: (416) 735-7490

Green Side Up

Douglas Kennedy

121 Grassy Rd.

Omemee, ON, K0L 2W0

Phone: (289) 892-2827

Ecology Park Plant Nursery

Ashburnham Drive

C/o Peterborough Green-Up

378 Aylmer St. N., Unit 4

Peterborough, ON, K9H 3V8

Phone: 1-888-745-3238
Phone: (705) 745-3238 extension 212Native Plants in Claremont
4965 Westney Road

Pickering (Claremont), ON, L1Y 1A2

Phone: 905-649-8176


Wildflower Farm

10195 Hwy 12 West,

R.R.#2 Coldwater, ON, L0K 1E0

Phone: 1-866-476-9453
Instructions for Growing Native Wildflowers from seed

Florabunda Seeds

Box 3; Indian River, ON, K0L 2B0

Phone: (705) 295-6440
Fax: (705) 295-4035

Rockwood Forest Nurseries

437 Mark Road

Cameron, ON, K0M 1G0

Phone: 1-888-833-0473

Other resources

North American Native Plant Society

Butterflies of Ontario

Butterflies and Moths of North America

Monarch Watch

Guide to Bee Identification

Pollination Guelph

Pollinators, busy doing what?

How to Build a Butterfly Garden

More pollinator information resources

Last updated: April 22, 2024


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