Monday, April 29, 2013

Garden Journals at Aberthau

 I love giving my garden journal workshop. My job: to provide you with all sorts of ideas, fabulous paper, tape, and rubber stamps. Your job: go crazy with it! As you can see, these woman are exceptionally talented collage artists. I was very inspired by their work.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Our Daily Bee: The Land of Osmia

As I sort through my collections of bee photos, I thought it would be fun to try to post one bee or bee plant photo per day. This is a mason bee I saw two days ago foraging on Ontario and 20th in the Hyancinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebells).

Observing Orchard Mason Bees (Osmia):

Look for pollen under their hairy abdomens.
Look for little white beards on males.

Good Question: Do male mason bees pollinate?

Yes, but only as they forage to feed themselves. The females visit more blossoms as they feed themselves and collect food for their progeny.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Beekeeper's Baby Shower!

When a beekeeper is going to have a baby, it is important to tell the bees.

Marriage, birth, or burying,
News accross the seas,
All your sad or merrying,
You must tell the bees.

Dear Bees,
Our friend is about to pop!
Please welcome the baby into our world.
Prepare the way for the arrival of a new soul.
We promise to love the beekeeper's child and take good care of the wee one.

 Friends, neighbors and family gathered for a lovely celebration with such good food.

Julia made an amazing cake decorated with flowers from around the neighborhood.

 You can see the white chocolate leaves.

There were white violets, mauve violets, currant flowers, and cherry blossoms. Inside the intense chocolate cake, honey was spread between the layers.

Can anyone guess what was sprinkled at the bottom of the cake? Bee pollen!

 This is a beautiful quilt made by the beekeeper mom-to-be.

I have wonderful memories of attending wedding and baby showers when I was a child.

Nesting Material Sculptures at West Point Grey

The birds in Vancouver are making nests right now and we're going to help them out by providing nesting materials for them. Some willow wreaths (recycled from another project) are a great form for adding bits of feathers and wool that the birds can pull out and use for their nests.

We recycled some old wool sweaters that were full of holes and too losely knit to be felted.

 Grade 2 students made mini bird buntings to hang in their windows at home.

 Pictures from an Audubon  bird-a-day calender inspired us with incredible photographs, like this weaver-bird and its nest.

For more information on how to help the birds check out this article by Susan Tweit from the March-April Issue of Audubon Magazine: 10 Things You Can Do for the Birds. Many of her suggestions also apply to helping the bees!