We Love Our Pollinator Pals!

RUSTY PATCHED BUMBLE BEE - Bombus affinis - Rusty Patched Bumble Bees are social bees that come out in early April, pollinating early spring flowers like apple blossoms, rhododendrons, and crocuses. They have a long season, with worker bees still foraging for nectar in asters and goldenrods in late October! Worker bees of this species have a brownish-patch of hair on their yellow abdomens. The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee used to be among the most common bumble bees in Toronto, but, sadly, it became the first endangered bee in North America. Since 2002, only a few Rusty Patched Bumble Bees have been observed in Ontario every year. They are now very rare, and haven’t been seen in Toronto in many years. FUN FACT! Keep an eye out! If you see this bee, try to take a photo and report sightings to Bumble Bee Watch at bumblebeewatch.org.

If you see this bee, try to take a photo and report sightings to Bumble Bee Watch at bumblebeewatch.org!


Pollinator monitoring helps us track the abundance and diversity of pollinator species in our neighbourhood wild spaces.



  1. Designate a 1m x 1m observation area (i.e. a patch of plants), using your string. Record the date, time, and location on your pollinator monitoring tracker.
  2. Set a timer for 5 minutes and start your observation! Every time a pollinator lands on a flower in your observation area, record it as a visit in the appropriate insect category.
  3. Record any interesting observations in the “notes” section.
  4. If you have a smart phone or computer, you can upload your observations using the Insight Citizen Science app, and share your observations with citizen scientists all over the world!
    This helps the global community track and care for pollinator populations, which is especially important for at-risk populations such as the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.

3 young adults sitting in a garden and looking at a patch of flowers. Some are holding pollinator monitoring tracking cards





Go to PAGE 6 to read about the Ruby Throated Hummingbird and some nature journaling ideas!

© 2018 Shoresh.