May 5th, 2014

5 May

The Bee School Update, May 5, 2014

The May 11th Bee School at Cedar Cottage Community Garden is officially full. If you are interested in a hands on intensive program in organic and sustainable bee management the next 8 Session program begins May 24th at 23rd and Main.

Native Bee Society, BeeFriendly.ca

A group of dedicated bee enthusiasts have come together to support native bees on the North Shore. BeeFriendlys activities centre on engaging the public, especially children, in conserving and protecting our wild bee populations.

They have invited me to give a native bee presentation:

Saturday, May 31 – Free Native Plants/Native Bees workshop at Bee Demo Garden, 14th Street and Rufus Avenue – 10 am to noon.

http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/free-workshop-native-plants-for-native-bees-tickets-11022734295?aff=es2&rank=0&sid=35af3817d39611e385b11231390f3274

The BeeFriendly website is an excellent source of information on native bees. The work being done by BeeFriendly is very inspirational and offers hope for the future.

Dandelion

Dandelion is nearly done here on the coast, a few isolated pockets of flowers in bloom yet. I think it’s very cool how quickly the flowers transform almost overnight from cheerful yellow blooms to fluffy balls ready to disperse.

Dandelions are very multipurpose plants that give a lot to those in the know:

  • Before going into bloom the leaves make an excellent edible green, tender and nutritious.
  • The roots when harvested and dried are medicinal supporting kidney function and when roasted and ground make a tasty substitute for coffee.
  • The flowers are edible, be sure to remove the green parts, as they are not so delicious. I made dandelion jelly one year and swear it tasted just like honey. Yum.
  • Dandelions produce copious amounts of nectar early in the spring when bees of all kinds really need the boost.
  • Like most weeds dandelions tell us something about the soil where they growing. They prefer compacted disturbed sites, which is why they are most frequently found on the side of paths and roadways. Their deep taproots penetrate into those depleted soils loosening and aerating the earth making the establishment of secondary plants possible.
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