We Love Our Pollinator Pals!

Green Sweat Bee Agapostemon virescens Green Sweat Bees, Toronto’s official bee, are common in both wild areas and gardens and can be seen in early mornings in the summertime. They love to forage on thistles and other flowers including Rose of Sharon and Hollyhock. Green Sweat Bees have bright green heads and thoraxes. The females black abdomens, whereas the males have black and yellow stripehave d abdomens. Green Sweat Bees nest in the ground in communal nests: each bee uses a separate brood cell at the end of a long underground tunnel, with one shared entrance at the top. This structure makes it easier to guard against intruders since the bees can work together to guard a single entrance. Fun Fact! Most other species of ground bees will defend their nest against other bees from their own species, but Green Sweat Bees will permit strangers and unrelated bees of the same species to enter.

Green Sweat Bees are Toronto’s official bee!


Seeds balls are a fun (and easy!) way to plant native wildflower seeds, which provide excellent sources of nectar for native pollinators, such as Green Sweat Bees!
Adult assistance is recommended for this activity because of the use of red clay. 

Materials:hands holding dry prepared seed balls

  • Sprinkling of wildflower seeds
  • 2 parts dry red clay
  • Bowl for mixing
  • 3 parts soil
  • 1 part water
  • Stick for stirring
  • 1 part worm castings* (or other compost)
  • Garden gloves (optional)
  • Directions:


  1. Mix the wildflower seeds with the soil and worm castings. *Worm castings are made by worms – they are full of all the nutrients that new seeds need to grow!
  2. Add the dry clay and mix well. BE VERY CAREFUL TO NOT BREATHE IN THE RED CLAY DUST!
  3. Gradually add water until the mixture becomes firm and clumps together.
  4. Pinch small amounts of the mix and roll between the palms of your hands until smooth and round. Each seed ball should be approximately 1-3 cm in diameter.
  5. Place seed balls onto a flat surface to harden undisturbed for 24 hours.
  6. Throw your seed balls into garden beds or in “empty” fields and parking lots and see what grows!

Go to PAGE 3 to read about Black Swallowtail Butterflies and learn about their magnificent lifecycle!

© 2018 Shoresh.