In which a bunch of seasonal employees are added to the staff

The menfolk are doing something...?

Aha! The new sign for the entrance to the farm! (I intentionally blurred out the numbers, just in case any of those interwebular stalkers are stalking around here).
But, hold on a sec. The sign is up, it's pointed towards the road, and Jim is attaching something to the back.

A roof! He's putting a roof on the back of our farm sign.
And under the roof, he is hanging a little condominium for our newest farm staffers:
Jim and I learned a lot about these native pollinators, and we decided to invite some to live with us on Haiku Farm.

Here's cool stuff about mason bees:
* They are native to our region, and are not affected by whatever mysterious ailment is killing \european honeybees worldwide.
* The males will hatch first; the females hatch a few days later, mate very soon after emerging, and then start nesting a few days after that.
* The bees will work, pollinating the flowers and trees in the orchard, for about 4 to 6 weeks before they die, leaving behind the larvae to develop inside the nests, make cocoons, and become new adults resting in the cells. When it gets cold again in the fall, the adults will hibernate.

* Mason bees are not aggressive. Because they do not have a hive to defend, they sting only when they think they're being squished.

Orchard Mason Bees can be reared in cardboard tubes, hollow reeds, straws, or blocks of woods with holes drilled.

We bought our bee condo locally; it's made of corn! Dr. Margriet Dogterom is the recognized "queen" of mason bees, and her Canadian company Bee Diverse provides easy-to-understand books, instructional videos, and equipment for people who don't want to spend a lifetime studying mason bees. The condo is re-usable and will be home to many generations of mason bees.
The condo will provide homes for our "bottle of bees", as well as any locals who decide to move into the neighborhood and join our staff.

Okay, Spring: we're just about ready for you!

Comments

  1. You could send some our way, you know.

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  2. i love your sign!

    i don't like your on-purpose bugs.

    ~lytha

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  3. So THATS what the Buzz is all about. (sorry, could not help myself)

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  4. That is too cool! I <3 gentle bees that mind their own business! What's the galvanized tub for?

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  5. @txtrigger: cute, honey.
    (I couldn't help myself either)

    @Funder: the tub is a leaky livestock watertank, which we will fill up with dirt and use as a planter for heather (bee plants) as well as a little container for mud, which the girls will need to use as plugs for their egg cells. Pretty + useful!

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  6. Awesome! My mom is an apprentice beekeeper and has honey bee hives at her house...which I totally get to reap the benefit of when she jars honey for me. YUM. Once the queen packed up and left their box and they all swarmed into one of the trees along their property line. My mom had to call the neighbors and tell them not to be alarmed. ;) I love to watch the bees perch on the rocks in my mom's water garden and drink. It's a trip to watch. Have fun with your new guys/gal! :)

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  7. Very cool sign and bee house! I like the idea of the little environment you are creating for them. I hope all goes well with your industrious little workers1

    (ps - just found your blog via a link on someone else's list...)

    ReplyDelete

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