Bees, Butterflies, and Green Roofs

In our ecosystem, bees and butterflies play a vital role.

So, there are over 400 different bee species in Ontario alone and over 100 butterfly species. Keeping our plants and trees pollinated is one of the most important functions of pollinators. They do this by carrying pollen from a male anther of a flower to the female stigma of the same type of flower. In this case, seeds can only be produced once this process has been completed. The health of our living environment depends on the existence of pollinators as they help our trees and plants reproduce. Of which we are a main beneficiary as we enjoy the fruits, blooms, and vegetables of their labour.

Unfortunately, pollinators are often negatively affected by the growth of our urban areas. In order to minimize the impact of urban development on urban pollinators, it is important to replace the green areas lost to development as well as increase the number and diversity of plants.

Green roofs can help!

Secondly, urban development and building design should take into account the needs of the many species that already exist in these spaces and consider how building design and architecture can help maintain these species in these same spaces. Therefore, the use of green roofs in building design utilizes what would otherwise be vacant rooftop space and provides habitats for bees and butterflies that would otherwise be displaced. Lastly, the benefits of green roofs in creating habitats for pollinators can be maximized through effective design; for example, by using green roof systems that allow for meadow or shrub plantings.

A reduction in natural areas is oftentimes an unfortunate side effect of urban development. Therefore, it is possible to alleviate the loss of natural areas by integrating the living environment into the built environment by using the available land for green spaces. Lastly, green roofs have a key role to play in helping reduce the loss of natural areas by creating and preserving habitats for bee and butterfly species to flourish in our cities.

Visit our Green Roofs page for more information on how you can implement one for your space.


“Flitter, flutter, here come the butterflies of spring and summer!” Ontario Nature,

“Guess how many types of bee call Ontario home?” Ontario Parks,

“What is Pollination?” U.S. Forest Service,