Thursday, 20 August 2015

‘Bee hotels’ give solitary pollinators rooms of their own

Excerpt from the article Margaret shared at the August meeting (click on the link to see full article and video):

‘Bee hotels’ give solitary pollinators rooms of their own
Madeleine Cummings, Edmonton Journal 07.19.2015
The “hotel,” which was attached Monday to a tree on the Edmonton Community Foundation’s downtown grounds, is made of wood and hollow bamboo stems. It has about 200 cylindrical holes, where solitary bees can lay eggs.

Unlike honey bees, which live communally in hives, solitary bees live alone, but still need safe spots to stash their eggs. Normally, bees find sheltered nooks and crannies in trees or underground, but these have become scarce in Edmonton and other cities across the country.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

August: Meeting at Margaret's

August's laid back meeting was the perfect chance for members to explore Margaret's garden. 

She created focal points with recovered wooden stumps.  And little springs of wild grasses with usual seed heads nodded between larger plants. 

The front yard's main motif was aquatic - a fish! 

To the one side was a collection of different coral bells.

There were many plants in flower, including (right) a gentian that Ollie declared was an amazing true blue! 

The side of house was Margaret's prairie garden with saskatoons, currants, milkweed, and a native grass (below) that Erica remembers calling "mascara grass" as a kid. 

The backyard was a combination of a flowers and edibles and a haven for insects and natural life. 

(Below) Bees happily foraged, a yellow spider hid among golden blooms, and wasps were welcomed - as carnivores to eat any hand-squished cabbage worms

When the sun started to go low, we headed inside for our meeting.  Over plates of treats, we reviewed articles on monarch butterfly migration, bee hotels, and the "pretty pain" also known as Himalayan balsam.

Margaret also shared her garden bounty - cucumbers yum!