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This blog includes: management tips on how to keep mason bees, stories and pictures from other mason bee keepers, trends in the industry, research news, interesting links, review of products, events and other interesting items.

I have been a biologist since I was a kid. Then I became a "bee biologist". From bees in my garden to studying them at Simon Fraser University, I still find bees fascinating. Pollination with bees also became a focus when I studied pollination of blueberries. My journey with bees continued into the business world. In 1999 I started my company Beediverse Products and developed a line of products to keep mason bees. I first developed a successful method for harvesting mason bee cocoons and then I developed a line of products including: book,DVD, poster,mason bee homes and tools.

Now, my main interest and enthusiasm is focused on figuring out how to best manage mason bees and produce them by the billions. For this reason we are continually testing new ideas, widgets and gadgets for making the job of keeping mason bees easier and more successful.

The Best Tasting Apple Competition at the Salt Spring Fall Fair, Sunday 10:30 AM at the Demo Tent.
Come on out and have some fun. YOU BE THE JUDGE.
1) We need you to vote and rate all the apples for your favourite. 80 people randomly chosen from the crowd will be asked to taste and vote.
Then we just tabulate to see which apple gets the most votes.
2) I also need some helpers to help cut the apples into bite sized pieces, so that people only have to taste using a tooth pick. Just come to the Demo Tent about 10 AM.
You can also do the tasting and voting as well, so work and play at the same time.

Harry Burton,
Salt Spring Island,
250-653-2007

1) Website:

www.appleluscious.com

2) Apple Luscious Video Channel:
youtube.com/user/AppleLusciousOrganic

Facebook Search: harry.burton.1428

The 14th Annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival
Theme: SO MANY APPLES; SO LITTLE TIME, BUT TAKE TIME TO TASTE THE APPLES ALONG THE WAY.

Sunday, Sept 29, 2013

A chance to visit Apple Heaven while still on earth!

Growing over 350 apple varieties

The Salt Spring Island (BC) Apple Festival on Sunday, Sept 29th, 2013, is celebrating the incredible apple diversity of our beautiful island. Although the crop this year is low, we are happy to include some other farms that are not normally Hosts for the Apple Festival to make sure your farm experience is delightful. In 2011, we displayed 302 apple varieties at Fulford Hall, all grown ORGANICALLY here on Salt Spring Island, BC.  We connect you with apples, that are tasty, rare, historical and unusual, and as a bonus, we will connect you with the farmers that grow them. Have a look at over 1000 photos from Apple Festival 2011 on the website 
saltspringapplefestival.org

 

Although round nesting holes are preferred by mason bee, they will use all kinds of shapes and sizes of holes, including these routered holes.  these nests are created by routering grooves in pieces of wood, which are stacked and thus creating the nesting holes.  colored markers to help mason bees find their nest can easily be done on wood.  some of the ‘unused’ nesting holes are actually used by the bees for their overnight stay.  for this reason it is always best to have more nesting holes then the number of female mason bees that are released.

Most of these Beediverse Quicklock corn nesting tunnels are plugged and filled with young developing mason bees.  Mud plugs are of varying colors indicating that different females use different sources of mudding material.  Three of the nesting holes remain unplugged and look empty although the lower open nesting hole on the lower left, contains a mason bees.  It is probably close to filling its nesting tunnel.  These nesting trays are of the newer ‘wood’ colors except the blue which gives the trays some color to help with the bees’ orientation.  Overall, this spring nesting was mostly successful.  In many cases, production looks like it will be more than the number of cocoons set out in the early spring.

If you are interested in growing fruit,  this is the society for you.  Four times a year, they put out a magazine called Pome News.  It is full of great stories, How to, recipes and much more.  I just received my winter 2013 issue.  Homemade apple sauce is one I need to try out.  Spices added are ginger, anise, cloves and cardamon.  Mmm sounds delicious.  Other interesting writeups include a description of a trip to some old orchards and identifying the apple varieties.  Fascinating.  Another interesting How-to article on grafting onto old trees.

Membership is $20.    Their address is Home Orchard Society, PO Box 230192, Tigard, OR 97281-0192

Email address to membership chair is membership@homeorchardsociety.org

Early cherry blossoms in March.

Cherry blossom in March

 

 
 From: Chris
 Subject: Mason Bee house with guests?
 We have 2 Cottage style house with a single tube size hole on a door that slides up and door on grooves from the upper right at about a 45 degree angle. 
 
Yesterday I found bark dust piled at the bottom of the ‘V’ where  the door stops.  As I slid the door up there was more dust inside along  with what looked like cotton. 
These are 6′ off the ground.  I cleaned them out. 
 
 This morning there is more cotton inside.    I did see a small yellow jacket carrying cotton like material on the mason bee structure.  After cleaning it out several times and perhaps because the weather has become cooler the cotton is no longer showing up inside.   I actually saw a yellow jacket carrying a tuft of cotton like material.  Please let me know if I should bring the two houses into the garage until it the yellow jackets are gone for the year.

Chris

Great pictures.  I am not too sure who the culprit is here.  Several mason beekeepers have sent me pictures with cotton in and around nesting tunnels.  We are still searching for the culprit!

Taking the whole nest in is always good management.
Margriet

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