ANNAPOLIS FARMERS MARKETWhat a lovely day it was at the market in Annapolis Royal today. Is it that we hang around too much with our bee friends, or was it really“a buzz” there with happy people darting here and there filling their pouches with goodies to take back to their own hive? ! The first extraction of the “Summer” honey took place on Friday and everyone who knows our honey, was waiting for this special treat, because this honey tastes likewild english roses. This year was exceptional in the abundance of wild Nova Scotia roses and English roses wildly blooming along the coastline.Raw Wildflower Honey is amazing anytime, but when the bees dine on the wild roses’ nectar – it is truly the nectar of the gods. It smells of summer!Making the Bello Uccello Raw Wildflower Honey available at the market is truly a pleasure. The most interesting people introduce themselves andthe conversations always result in making the world we live in feel a bit more connected and heart-centered place. The folks who produced The Happy Moviedocumentary said that the three things which make people Happy all over the world are: 1. other people 2. physical activities 3. helping others
In the spirit of The Happy Movie’s findings, we would like to share with you, how to build a nest for pollinators, because we had three separate requests today from friends of the bees to do so. Many people are noticing that the honey bees are not the only ones not showing up for a pollen-nectar dinner at their lovely veggies and flowers which are waiting to be pollinated. Many of our bumblebees, solitary bees – like mason bees and other pollinators were a “no show” in early summer and even now their numbers are limited and people are actually losing their veggies because they are not pollinated or they are getting no fruit forming on their trees. The bee- factory-
farming has been going on for some time now and we, as a society cannot perpetuate such unintelligent behaviours as poisoning, starving, stressing andbasically commodifying life itself and the honey bee in particular, and not think that eventually there would be horrible consequences. Everyone is now suffering from those consequences in one way or another. What can we do about it? How can we “Change the World on a Tuesday Night” so to speak. (great book by the way)
“CHANGING THE WORLD ON A TUESDAY NIGHT….”
Anyone can make a condo for some of the pollinating insects which will repay your kindness by making our world more abundant with Life. You do not need to
own land yourself, you can ask neighbours or friends to find a place for your condo or you can place them in Common lands. Nova Scotia is alive and well
with the concept of the Commons still in the consciousness of its citizens and it is well worth the research to learn more about these community held rights of use and access to Common lands.. It is worth noting that the honey bees of the sanctuary spend most of their time on the undeveloped Common lands along the shoreline and at the Provincial Park where they have designed “No Mow But Grow” zones within the park.
Jennifer’s CONDO 1
This design is for small spaces. Drill deep holes into a stick of wood which can be an old piece of firewood, a fence post, a stump or an old wooden buoy or piece of
driftwood. Don’t drill completely through. The holes drilled deeply, should be of different sizes, ranging from 3/32 of an inch to 5/16th of an inch in diameter and make sure that you drill at a slight angle upwards, so that when you place your new “house” facing south, the rain will drip out of the logs and keep the bees dry. These houses are very natural and wood nesting bees and insects love them! You can hang them in a tree, or place them in an out -of- the- way place in the garden. Planting flowers that bees like, in the area of the condo, will attract the pollinators to it.
Families love to make nesting boxes and you can start with recycled plastic milk cartons, tin cans with the lid removed, or any water proof container which has a back to it.Punch a small hole in the sides of the container and make sure the holes are slightly to the back end of the middle. This is where you put your string for hanging the condo. Take various hollow plant stems such as bamboo, elderberries, bramble fruits, and stick them straight into the container, leaving a small empty space at the front and make sure you fill the whole container with stems tightly. Check on line to see some amazing insect hotels – you can get very elaborate with these projects. Hang the container so that it slightly slopes downward and again this is so the rain will run out of the container and not kill the pollinators.
Dan’s CONDO 2
So you have lots of land and you could even be a professional gardener and need pollinators by the thousands. You need more than a Condo, you need
a Village of Condos! Mother Earth News August/September 2013 has a wonderful drawing of just such a pollinators paradise. They took two recycled
pallets and placed one on top of another and then placed the drilled logs and hollow stems mentioned in the Condo l discussion, all along the perimeters inside of the pallets, with the holes facing outwards.(Remember to have the slope, so that the rain does not enter the nest). You can place pots of plants or veggies on top of these pallets if you wish to use the space.
BUMBLEBEE NESTS IN GROUND
The picture you see here, of the bumble bee nest in the ground, was an exciting find. We had some long grass which we had hoped to smoother
by placing a piece of plywood on top of it. After a month or so we returned to clean up the area and when we picked up the plywood, there was a
beautiful nest of bumble bees complete with their individual honey pots in the ground. Naturally we left the plywood where it was. Bumble bees will take mouse holes etc to make a nest in, but since we have had bees do this before when we placed a piece of wood over some long grass, we think we are on to something!
The bumble bee nest is also still alive and well under the doorway of the Bumble Bee trailer which sits in the honey bee sanctuary. Sometimes we see a baby bumblebee trying to get into the honeybee hive and shoo him back home. Bumble Bees seem to want to be part of the honey bee sanctuary because we also have had
them make a nest under the boards in front of the hives – perhaps the bumble bee is the honey bee’s totem?!
Good luck in making your condos for pollinators and know that you have just Changed the World by participating in life enhancement and enabling beautiful flowers and
fruits and vegetables to grow. .