What a fantastic event we participated in at the Inspiration Garden in Coquitlam!!! There was not one, but two thrones fit for a queen. In spite of the cold rainy weather, families came out in droves to release the mason bee cocoons and learn about plants and bees.
You know it's going to be a good day when there is a Bee Stage!
The staff and volunteers were hard working and good-natured folks.
Pascale Gnocato, the local mason bee enthusiast who created this majestic bee habitat, filled the top with cocoons and provided homes, cocoons and advice to the people who mobbed his booth. Happy New Year to the mason bees!
Gnocato made a really good point when he said that the monetary value for each mason bee was quite high because of its pollinating potential for orchards. The same goes for honey bees!
I wanted to attend all the talks because they were so interesting. Natasha Etherington is a horticultural therapist who works with autistic children. She spoke about how just leaving a digging spot in a garden that is specifically designated for "free digging" can have profound effects on childrens' lives. She allows each child to take the lead in developing a relationship to the soil. Her new book is called Gardening for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Special Educational Needs: Engaging with Nature to Combat Anxiety, Promote Sensory Integration and Build Social Skills.
Alex McNaughton is an urban planning student who likes to garden and forage for food. He talked about seeds you can plant for edible flowers that will attract bees to your garden. He blogs at Urban Forageur.
Bergamot or "bee balm" is much loved by bumble bees.
This is an interesting one I'm going to try: Spilanthes. McNaughton says he crumbles the dried flowers and uses them to rim cocktails. Cool!
Yes, the dogs of Coquitlam are very curious about bees.
Chelsea and Jeff from the Honey Beat had a top-loading hive in their display and they sold lovely soaps, seed balls, cards, candles and honey.
Chelsea gave a talk on their non-invasive beekeeping practice--trying to use as little intervention as possible, but being responsible and treating or feeding the bees when absolutely necessary. These are good people to buy honey from!
In the photo below you can see a lovely heritage visible hive from the folks at another local apiary, Honeyview Farm.
I hope they have the event same bee time same bee place next year and I hope the sun shines!