20 hours 49 minutes ago
Sometimes the kids help (get subpoenaed) with the Backyard Pollinator jobs. Jody assisted with cutting nesting blocks into smaller pieces on the week-end. Cutting styrofoam = lots of clingy, staticky, styrofoam bits (very annoying). Glad it was him and not me!
1 day 9 hours ago
I can't help myself, everytime photos of this gorgeous flower are shared to the Australian Outback photography page, I must re-share them! So pretty and so totally unique. I have been fortunate to see this flower growing in Australia a couple of times.
2 days 18 hours ago
Have we told you that our little leafcutter bees are friendly? Like "sit on your hand" friendly! About the same size as a common housefly, these busy little bees sometimes take a break from their cocoon-building, pollen-gathering duties and sit on your shoulder or on your hand. It's almost like they stop to catch their breath before continuing on with their day. Stimulate the curious minds of your children or grandchildren by keeping some of these non-aggressive, solitary bees in your backyard this summer.
4 days 21 hours ago
Now that the larvae extraction work is finished, we're beginning to make Backyard Pollinators. Cutting, stamping and boxing, there's alot of care and attention that goes into each unit. Soon it will be the Gardenscape tradeshow (March 27-29) in Saskatoon and then our online sales will begin. Springtime here we come!!
5 days 23 hours ago
I love my hometown of Imperial SK!
6 days 21 hours ago
We've finished the 2019 bee extraction and we're just a little bit excited about that!!
In the past 6 weeks we've processed 9,000 nesting blocks, punched 19,440,000 million tunnels and extracted 60 million larvae. There are 6,000 gallons of bees all bagged and safely stored in our bee warehouse.
Thanks to Emma and our kids for their help with this big job. The next task....strapping the 9,000 nesting blocks back together into doubled-up units. More on that in the next few weeks!
What's in a nesting block? Well, lots of leafcutter bee larvae, we hope! There are approximately 3,600 tunnels in each unit and there could be 6-7 cocoons in each tunnel. That's potentially 21,600 individual cocoons per nesting block (approximately 2 gallons).
The blocks are made of styrofoam for insulating purposes and because they are not as heavy to handle as wooden blocks (still used by some producers). In a 12 month period we handle each of the 9,000 nesting blocks 5 times (splitting the double nesting blocks apart, putting each block through the extraction machine, strapping the single blocks into double units, taking the nesting block units to the field empty in May, bringing in nesting blocks full of larvae in August/September).
Do bees like some blocks better than others? Yes, a brand-new nesting block usually won't attract bees as well as a used block which already has the "alfalfa scent" on it. Speaking of scent, when we process bee larvae in the winter months, the entire bee warehouse has a sweet, alfalfa smell. It's like when you played in a hay stack as a kid, that pleasant hay aroma.
Leafcutter bees and alfalfa seed, that's us!!
1 week 3 days ago
Anyone who thinks that gardening begins in the Spring and ends in the Fall, is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the DREAM - Josephine Neuse.
Photo credit: Delia Crittenden Photography
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