Support bees and butterflies

Pollinator Project

Bees and butterflies in the city rely on our gardens and green spaces for food and shelter.

In return, these beneficial insects pollinate our plants, crops, and fruit trees, giving us beautiful flowers, fruits, nuts, and honey.

But pollinators are disappearing due to growing cities, pesticide use, and the spread of diseases.

Five ways you can support pollinators in your garden

  1. Include pollinator-friendly plants in your garden with long bloom times over spring and summer (see the plant list below). Choose a mix of plants that produce flowers of different shapes, sizes, and colours to attract many kinds of bees and butterflies. Even weeds like clover and dandelion are good. Try to add some native plants to encourage native bees.

  2. Keep your garden pesticide-free.

  3. Create nesting sites for bees. Buy or build a mason bee house of nesting tubes. Leave open, unmulched areas in your garden because over 70 per cent of native bees nest in dry soil below ground.

  4. Start a boulevard or street garden of pollinator plants in your neighbourhood as part of the City’s Green Streets Program.

  5. Take a course in sustainable gardening at VanDusen Botanical Garden.

    • Search and register for recreational programs 

Plants that pollinators love

  • Lavender (Lavendula)
  • Rhododendron
  • White Clover (Trifolium repens)
  • Cotoneaster
  • Heather (Calluna)
  • Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea)
  • California Lilac (Ceanothus)
  • Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea)
  • Bellflower (Campanula)
  • Thyme (Thymus)
  • Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis)
  • Yellow Mustard (Brassica)
  • Sage (Salvia)
  • Escallonia
  • Cranesbill (Geranium)
  • Aster
  • English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus)
  • Mint (Mentha)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Borage (Borago)
  • Calendula
  • Lily Of The Valley (Peleris)
  • Shrubby Veronica (Hebe)
  • Blackberry/Raspberry (Rubus)

Donate to the Pollinator Project

Honey bee feeding on a lavender flower

To contribute to the Pollinator Project, donate online or by mail today.

Your donation will help create pollinator gardens to increase honey bee and bumble bee populations.

Donate now

See how we are helping pollinators

Pollinator Project

Pollinator Project to support bees and butterflies

We are working with local organizations to make Vancouver’s parks and gardens friendlier to bumble bees, honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Discover projects underway in your city.

Learn about beekeeping in the city

Beekeeper and bees

Beekeeping

Urban beekeeping is an excellent way to improve pollination for plants in backyard, community, and public gardens, which leads to better vegetable production. Learn the rules for keeping bees in your yard.