We might be heading into our cold, wet season, but the mason bees are out there, about to go into winter hibernation in their hidey-holes, where they’ll await the first blooms of spring. These mild-mannered, solitary black bees nest in small spaces and are just as hard-working as honeybees—and they make excellent guests in your garden if you’ve got anything that needs pollinating. Find out how to make your yard an inviting place for these industrious little creatures, and watch your vegetable patch produce a bumper crop.
Master Gardener Vione Graham will lead an introductor workshop knowledge about how to get started with mason bees. Almost no work is involved to attract mason bees—one species of about 4,000 native North American bees, without which most fruits and vegetables would not produce—and with just a little knowledge you’ll reap a big harvest. The presentation will cover their role in pollination, their life cycle and habitats and how we can protect these valuable creatures. The event will conclude with a demonstration of nest/cocoon cleaning. If you have mason bee cocoons and a nest structure designed to come apart, bring them and plan to clean them. Also, bring a medium-size bowl and a container with a lid, such as a yogurt tub.
The presentation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the 78th St. Heritage Farm, located 1919 N.E. 78th St. in Vancouver. There is no cost to attend and no registration required. For more information, contact Erika Johnson at 360-397-6060, ext. 5738, or e-mail email@example.com. The class is hosted by WSU Extension Clark County Master Gardeners.