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2009-05-25-10-00-11

Italian parsley. A delight for a mid-winter salad

Mason bees help by pollinating flowers and an abundant seed crop was the result.  Fresh veggies for our morning green drink!!

2009-05-25-10-01-05

Young kale plants seeded from last years’ plants and pollinated by mason bees.

A BC winter garden including various herbs.

Herbs are a wonderful addition to any garden and these plants provide both nectar and pollen to bees.

Mustard farmers join forces to protect British Honey bees.  The article describes how a good supply of flowers that provide nectar and pollen to bees will in turn provide good crop yields.

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workshop in new west

A fun learning experience

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Bee homes in a community garden

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Good thing there is lots of room on this shed!

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Getting mason bee homes ready for spring

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An audience learning about how to get started with mason bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been busy re-doing the blog over the past week or so.  Hope you like the navigation and the look of it.  Keep your emails and pictures coming.  There is always an article or photo that puts a different curve to the story.  I have been receiving lots of news on harvesting mason bees over the past few weeks.  Tonight, a lady asked me when they should be cleaning and harvesting the bee cocoons.  She was very surprised to hear that the best time to clean and harvest mason bees is when they are overwintering.  The bees, although fully developed, have to go through an overwintering period and then in the spring they emerge when it is warm.  Tomorrow, I am looking forward to going into the garden to pull a few sprigs of parsley and kale for a salad.  the kale seed has now sprouted into 2″ tall seedlings.  Will add some of those to my salad too. Yum!!

A great crowd learning about mason bees

A great crowd learning about mason bees

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Sometimes bees just want to build their own mud compartments!!

The bees did a wonderful job of pollinating kale flowers too.  Seed production is up this year.

Looking forward to the Courtenay mason bee workshop at the end of this month and is hosted by Art Knapps in Courtenay.  Hope to see you there.

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Rodents ate their way through the cardboard and to the cocoons.

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An attic is often designed as part of the upper mason bee home as in these two homes.

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Hatching hut with cover

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Compartment of hatching hut filled with mason bee cocoons

Safety of overwintering and hatching cocoons is a must for success.  Successful hatching occurs if mason bee cocoons are protected from predators and the weather.  A  cardboard box may work, but cocoons are easy prey for rodents.  A simple wooden box with a hole in one side works well.  The type of box depends on the number of cocoons.  For less than 100 cocoons this new Hatching Hut is a safe and convenient place for not only overwintering but releasing the bees. If you have up to 100 cocoons grab one of two of the hatching huts.  They are well made, can easily be cleaned and used year after year.  Go to our shop and check out our hatching hut.  A great stocking stuffer.

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Cocoons are placed in a drawer above the nesting tunnels.

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A wooden box is a safe place for overwintering bee cocoons.

 

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