Toronto now has an official bee. Here’s why that matters

Image of metallic green sweat bee on purple flower.

(The Star) The metallic green sweat bee — Agapostemon virescens is the species name — was chosen for three reasons. One, it’s abundant: of the more than 360 wild bee species that inhabit Toronto, this one is fairly common. Two, it’s hard to miss: it looks like it’s all zhuzhed up to hit the bee version of Studio 54, or maybe the Brunswick House before it became a Rexall. And three, it lives in a condo.

Bee researchers tackle big questions at this year’s BeeCon

Group photo of BeeCon participants.

(York University) Bee researchers gathered for the annual BeeCon – southern Ontario’s bee researchers symposium – at the end of August to talk about everything related to bees, including bee behavior, genetics and genomics, and conservation. Keynote speaker Ricardo Ayala Barajas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México discussed the diversity of bees in Mexico, as well as the current impact the loss of pollinators is causing. He said there is now a network to study the bees of Meso-America. However, the network still needs more taxonomists to do the work and provide more information about their behavior, habits and floral relations.