Men's Shed - A program of the Whatcom Council on Aging.
Our April meeting was a huge success. We had several new attendees and two guys stepped up; George Bertschler, and Tim Buckley, to become full members in the Men’s Shed as well as joining the Senior Activity Center. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Doug Banner about Orchard Mason Bees, also known as Blue Orchard Bees. Doug explained the life cycle of the bees and how they are the most prolific pollinators of the bee family. Mason Bees it turns out are up to 40 times more effective than honey bees in pollination. Every yard and vegetable garden in Bellingham and Washington State should have a Bee House for the Blue Mason Bees.
Mason Bees are native to our North-West region. They are not aggressive, in fact, people can handle the bees and bee houses without being stung. This solitary bee is considered a non-stinger. They are fascinating to watch as they work around your garden and plants. Even though the female has a stinger, it is nonlethal for those who may be highly allergic to bee stings.
Doug who has almost 500 Bee Houses on his property has been working with the Whatcom Middle School program to teach young people all about where our table food comes from.
During Doug’s talk, a group at the Men’s Shed decided to pitch in to help the Whatcom Middle School project. Doug is trying to supply all their students, about 250 kids, with a Bee House each. Rick Terny volunteered to provide a stash of wood, some blocks from timbers, and other cuts from saw milled trees. Then, several members; Jack Herring, Tim Buckley, George Bertschler, and Jerry Bedlington volunteered to drill holes and shape the wood into Bee Houses. Jerry also offered to have a few guys do some of work at his home.
Doug was thrilled to have a Men’s Shed project team assist with building the 250 house he will need for all the Whatcom Middle School children. The team will start work next week at the OK of Rick and Doug.
Doug will coordinate, he can be reached at:
email: [email protected]
P.S. A big thank you goes to member, Ron Levin who brought this idea to our attention.