Posted: July 14, 2019
Pollinator Events at the Library

Want to be a better friend to the environment but don't know how to get started? Join in the fun with WPL's 12 month Eco Year Challenge! From April 2019 to April 2020 we are working with partners to host events and fun activities that will inspire you to get green -- because little changes can make a big difference

July is Pollinator Month

Pollinator Expo

  • Wednesday, July 17
  • 6:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Main Library - Auditorium
  • Drop-in

Explore the wonderful world of bees, birds and butterflies. We will have activities for all ages and many partners to teach you how to help our amazing pollinator friends. Participating community groups include:

  • Huckleberry Hives
  • Beekeeping in Ontario
  • Waterloo Region Nature
  • Raine Lab - University of Guelph
  • Backyard Honey Company
  • Waterloo Horticultural Society
  • Kitchener Master Gardeners
  • Rare Charitable Research Reserve
  • Pollinator Working Group (City of Waterloo)
  • Best for Bees

Due to the extreme heat and possible thunderstorms the Pollinator Expo will be taking place INSIDE the Main Library. Everyone welcome! 

Pollinator Panel

  • Thursday, July 18
  • 6:00pm to 9:00pm
  • John M. Harper Branch

Free tickets are available at Pay-what-you-can donations accepted at the door or online.

Join us for this live panel featuring local experts in an interactive discussion about pollinator health, sustainability, science and best practices. Panelists include Erica Shelley, Kim Fellows, Anne Morgan and Leah Blechschmidt, moderated by Jen Novakovich. This discussion will be recorded for The Eco Cast podcast, available to listen to at a later date. In partnership with The Eco Market.

Meet the Panelists

Erica Shelley, Ph.D. is a bee and pollinator advocate. A longtime caretaker of bees, Erica uses honeybee hives to educate the public on the importance of pollinators. She is the residential apiarist at RARE and has hives located throughout Kitchener/Waterloo. She is also a proud member of Bee City Kitchener.

Kim Fellows was the outreach coordinator for Pollination Canada, a project under the umbrella of Seeds of Diversity Canada, for seven years. Kim's related background includes a BScH and MSc in Biology from Queen's University. Currently, Kim is active in her Bee City of Kitchener, Ontario.

Growing up in England with a bee keeping Father, and teaching biology/entomology at the University of Waterloo, Anne Morgan has long had an interest in Nature. Her life long hobby has been gardening and in retirement she became a Master Gardener, so she is now connecting all of her interests into gardening for wildlife and especially pollinators. Anne is currently involved in Bee City Waterloo.

Leah Blechschmidt is a grad student at the University of Guelph in Dr Nigel Raine's lab. She is doing her Master's thesis on pollinators in agriculture, looking at the status of native bees in apple orchards. Her primary focus is figuring out how landscape and habitat availability on and around farms impacts pollinator populations. Prior to starting her Master's she has worked in a number of environmentally focused areas including remediation, invasive species work, and urban sustainability. When she's not out catching bees, you can find her hiking, biking, or just generally making any excuse to get outside.

5 Tips From Dr. Anne Morgan

1. USE GREEN PRODUCTS. Never use pesticides of any sort on your lawn or garden as they not only kill weeds and pests, but bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

2. FLOWER POWER. Introduce more flowering plants into your garden. Flowering plants in pots are also a great source of pollen for pollinators.

3. DIVERSITY MATTERS. Plant a variety of flowers, shrubs and trees to provide food for all wildlife including, beetles, bees, flies, moths and butterflies.

4. NOT ALL BEES ARE THE SAME. Limit mulch for bees that make their homes in the ground.

5. LEAVE THOSE STEMS. In fall leave 15 inches of plant stems and spread leaves and dead branches under shrubs or among trees as habitat for overwintering insects.

Book Recommendations

Attracting Native Pollinators : protecting North America's bees and butterflies : the Xerces Society guide by Eric Mader ... [et al.]. –

100 Plants to Feed the Bees : provide a healthy habitat to help pollinators thrive by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Eric Lee-Mäder, Jarrod Fowler, Jillian Vento & Jennifer Hopwood

Pollinator Friendly Gardening : gardening for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators by Rhonda Fleming Hayes

Bea's Bees by Katherine Pryor ; illustrated by Ellie Peterson

Bug Lab for Kids : family-friendly activities for exploring the amazing world of beetles, butterflies, spiders, and other arthropods / John W. Guyton, Ph.D

Eco-Year Themes


  • April : Celebrate Nature (our Eco Challenge launch!)
  • May : Biking & Alternative Transportation
  • June : Composting & Gardening
  • July : Bees, Butterflies & Birds
  • August : Upcycling
  • September : Ocean Conservation
  • October : Textile Waste
  • November : Dispose Properly
  • December : Eco Holiday


  • January : Water
  • February : Animals
  • March : 100 Mile Diet
  • April : Energy Conservation