Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mason Bees

All right, so we've all heard about the problems with honeybee hives over the last year or two. (If you haven't, well, open a search engine and read a little of the kerfuffle.) There are some personal improvements people can do to make up for the effects that our urban living has on pollinators. Honeybees are only the most well-known of these insects that make it possible to propagate most of our food plants. Another kind of pollinator is the mason bee.
These are good-tempered bees that don't live in big hives. They live in little homes they make out of nooks and crannies in trees and odd places, some of which can be in suburban yards. Mason bees are better neighbours than wasps or ordinary bees. A lot of people are learning about mason bees and installing little houses for them.
If you're interested in learning more, there's a mason bee course starting up at Swan Lake Nature Centre. For people who live outside the Victoria area, check at your local recreation centres, nature centres, and libraries for local programs on mason bees. If there isn't one set up, get cracking! Program planners need local people to ask for activities like this and facilitate them!

Build a Mason bee Condo
Invite an amazing pollinator into your garden - BUILD them a CONDO!
Local expert, Gord Hutchings, will familiarize you with the life-cycle and habits of the Orchard Mason Bee. Then you’ll make your own observation Mason bee condo so you can observe the adult bees building the brood chamber, depositing the pollen store, laying eggs, and watch the developing larva and pupa. All materials are supplied.
Sunday, March 13th 9 - 11:30 am
$55 members $70 non-members
call to register
3873 Swan Lake Road, Victoria, BC, 250.479.0211 www.swanlake.bc.ca

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