The latest buzz on bees

And some interesting info. on adding colour to the garden for heading into fall

If you have a mason bee house you will notice the bees are active although the weather is chilly and wet. This is the reason we encourage this species because the flowers of the fruit trees are open and ready to be pollinated. Mason bees, also called “Blue Orchard”, are gentle souls that only sting if forced into a closed situation like under clothing. They are not honey producers, they merely collect pollen for nourishment to procreate the species. As soon as the bees emerge and mate, the females start laying eggs. To provide food for the larva next spring she has lined the bed with a mixture of pollen and nectar and closes the “door” with a similar mixture. Hence, the name mason bee. Clever, eh? All sounds perfect except for the predators. In our experience we have had a couple of attack situations. One, a mouse/vole got in the bee house, pushed the tubes out and ate some of the larva. To solve this problem, we put half inch wire mesh over the opening. The second problem occurred last year when we noticed the closures to the tubes had been opened in the fall. Upon examining the paper tubes we saw minute holes all along the tubes and discovered tiny white larva eating the brown larva of the bees. In searching for an answer on the internet, I found the culprit was a ‘parasitic wasp’ who had laid her eggs—sounds evil, doesn’t it?  This year we plan to attach a fine screen mesh over the entrance of our houses when activity has stopped, around July/August. Much more information can be obtained on the care of mason bees on the internet.

Questions and Answers

After the rhodos and azaleas are finished my garden lacks colour. What can I plant for color that continues into fall?

The following shrubs bloom from July to October and can be found in compact form: Abelia, pink flowers that last until frost; butterfly bush, fragrant and attracts bees and butterflies; Henry’s St. John’s Wort, has yellow flowers and evergreen in our climate; hydrangreas, many colors and great for shady spots; sweetspire, slightly perfumed white flower spikes, foliage turns red-purple in fall. Roses are always dependable for color until frost. Many shrubs can be used just for leaf color alone, such as winterberry that has a variation of green/gold or green/white leaves.  Japanese dogwoods can be added to the list of colorful plants. I’m just naming a few selections. I suggest going to the local greenhouses now for advice and purchasing rather than waiting until July/August when it is usually too hot and dry to plant shrubs. Remember to check the sun exposure of the planting site before purchasing.

Need a space-saver vegetable for your deck and are you into novelty plants? Now you can pick your tomato “sauce” above to put on your “fries” below! The plant is call “Ketchup and Fries”, developed in England and now available in Canada. It is the product of two different nightshade plants, a cherry tomato grafted onto a white potato. Many have been sold in England, we’ll wait for Canadian results!

Keep sending questions to news@ahobserver.com.

 

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read