Thursday, June 9, 2016

I Heart Saskatoon

While visiting Saskatoon, I fell in love with the city all over again. I love the low skyline and the "living skies". I love that the cab drivers insist you sit in the front seat with them. I love the skill and optimism of the local gardeners who breed color in tough conditions. I love the bees.

 I was curious why honeybees were visiting these peony buds. Aphid honeydew?

 Here's a bee oasis, with water for thirsty honeybees and rocks for them to perch on so they don't drown.

You can buy this bee condo at Wild Birds Unlimited. The stickers keep out parasitic wasps. You can also purchase this Xerces approved bee condo from Lee Valley.

In his book Native Plants for the Short Season Yard: Best Plants for the Chinook and Canadian Prairie Zones, Lyndon Penner points out that the silver lupin is the one native to the prairies. I highly recommend his book, BTW.  Since silver lupins might be difficult to find, this is one case where I think wild perennial lupins (let's call them near natives) would be fine to plant in a  prairie city garden.

These columbines were attracting tiny bees.

I am in love with the Little Bird pastry shop and Soul Paper.

 And I LOVE that Canadian bee scientist Cory Sheffield came all the way from Regina to attend my talk at and he BROUGHT BEES!!!! I find that when people see actual specimens of native bees it really affects them and inspires them to act to save these incredible creatures.

 And Cory was able to give detailed answers to some great questions and a suggestion for Saskatchewan's official bee.

After the event, it was time to order pizza and chill out in front of the fire as tent caterpillars crawled up our legs. Ahhhh! Well, not everything about Saskabush is loveable.

Thanks to the Saskatoon Public Library and Mcnally Robinson for helping me launch Victory Gardens for Bees in Saskatchewan.

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