Federated Garden        Clubs of          Minnesota, Inc.

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BeeGap Program

                                                


                    National Garden Clubs, Inc. announces a partnership with Crown Bees
                    to increase native bee awareness, and encourage gardeners to add
                    gentle, rarely stinging mason bees for food and flower pollination.
                    Creating edible landscapes and bee-safe habitats in backyards can 
                    help save the food supply threatened by declining honey bee pollinators.


                                                  
BeeGap Program Information



                    Taking action to support our native pollinators is as simple as being informed. 
                    Please consider contacting Rene' Lynch who is a member of the NGC Bee Gap 
                    Speakers Bureau. She would be happy to share her updated bee program for
                    your club meeting or as a presentation your club might sponsor at a community
                    event.    Contact Rene' at reneclynch@aol.com


                    Be informed and spread the word. There are many things we can do to make
                    a difference.




The Buzzz

By Rene’ Lynch, FGCM BeeGap Chairman

      

This Fall it was wonderful to see so many bees having extra time to forage for food. Especially how the sedums attracted both the butterflies and bees in great numbers.

With fall now definitely on the downside, I choose to already plan on Spring. I’m just going to skip the whole winter thing.

It isn’t too early to start planning to add Mason Bees to your yard and providing housing for these non-aggressive, non-stinging pollinators. Timing is everything to providing shelter when needed. It needs to be in place early, because our Springs can be so erratic. This year it started out unusually early and then went into a chilled wet stall. Some bees emerged and then could not find enough flowering material to feed on. This meant a lower survival rate and less eggs laid. Having a shelter in place would certainly help them, as well as some early flower bushes, trees, etc. 

The following is the “Life Cycle of our Spring Mason Bees”, provided by Crown Bees and NGC:

  1. Early Spring: Adults emerge from cocoons and mate. Males are only actively flying for two weeks.
  2. Spring: Females gather pollen and nectar, build muddy nest chamber partitions, seal up nesting hole ends with extra thick caps. Females actively fly for up to 6 weeks after emerging from their cocoons.
  3. Late Spring-Fall: Eggs hatch and grow into larvae within their nesting chamber, larvae slowly grow and eat pollen loaf, spin dark brown cocoons.
  4. Fall-Winter: Hibernate as fully-formed adults. Adults live off their stored fats over the winter.

Think about adding a bee shelter. I plan to hibernate like a bee (live off my stored fat) and see you and the bees next Spring.

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