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Education for the protection of pollinator populations (monarchs)

During the year, we carried out awareness and education activities for the monarch butterfly in order to raise people's awareness of the issues of this species at risk. Vision H2O has educated people on the importance of protecting the biodiversity of our ecosystems and this endangered species. To raise awareness, the group organized activities such as presentations, posters, planting swamp milkweed and nectar-rich plants in pollinator gardens at five community locations, distributing seeds and plants to Monarch caterpillars and pupae. Educational workshops were organized in addition to the development and sharing of informative materials.

Protecting pollinators is vital

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Plant native species in your gardens; these attract our pollinators more.
  • Choose plants that bloom at different times so that pollinators always have food available.
  • Mow the grass less often.
  • Dandelions are an excellent food source for pollinators and the entire plant is edible.
  • Do not spray pesticides on your lawns.
  • Place a shallow water dish with stones to allow bees to drink.
  • Buy or build a solitary bee nesting box (shelter).
  • Purchase local, seasonal food and local honey to support your local beekeepers.
  • Educate the public and those around you.
  • Avoid planting hybrid plants with double or triple flowers that do not have nectar or pollen available to pollinators. Some plants such as Goldenrods are vital in offering nectar and pollen to bees, monarchs and hummingbirds that are active before fall.
  • A corner of your garden with wildflowers will provide shelter, nesting and overwintering sites. It is best to leave dead leaves on your lawn and in the flower beds to provide a wintering site for pollinators.
  • Also, some bees nest or overwinter in the stems of plants. In addition, fallen leaves are a gardener's brown gold. They can be composted or used as mulch.

(Source: Canadian Wildlife Federation)

Pollination is a process by which a pollinator brings pollen from one flower to the pistil of another flower. It is an important process for biodiversity. Pollination allows for the fertilization of flowers, which results in the formation of seeds and the presence of many fruits and vegetables. Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and many other insects are pollinating species.


Small hummingbirds are attracted to red and orange funnel-shaped flowers. In the tubular flowers, there is a lot of nectar and they are the ideal flowers to feed hummingbirds. The large beaks of these species allow them to capture the nectar of the flowers. When they feed, they capture pollen and they deposit the pollen when they move from one flower to another. They therefore play an important role as pollinators. 


Bees are pollinators that play a major role in our region. They are particularly attracted to flowers that have bright colors, such as blue, purple, yellow and white. These insects are the main pollinators of fruit and vegetables. The pollen from the flowers they gather sticks to their hairs and legs. Therefore, when the bees move from one flower to another, they carry the pollen and fertilize the female flowers. The fertilized flowers then form seeds that can produce fruits and vegetables.


Most butterflies pollinate flowers in the same way as bees, but butterflies are mostly attracted to blue and purple open flowers. They are also able to fly a longer distance than bees. While feeding on nectar, butterflies collect pollen. However, butterflies are thinner than bees and have smooth wings, so they collect less pollen than bees. Therefore, since moths have more downy wings, they are able to hold more pollen than butterflies. Moths are therefore very good pollinators. 

Monarch butterflies 

Not only are monarch butterflies pollinators, but they are also migratory insects. When fall arrives, they travel to Mexico to overwinter in the mountains. To have enough energy for this trip, these butterflies feed on the nectar of plants. They participate greatly in pollination. For the survival of this species, milkweed is a necessary plant. Milkweed is the only plant on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs. In addition, monarch caterpillars feed only on milkweed. This toxic flower is therefore very important for the monarch.

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