Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Shameless Promotion (Bees & Other Pollinators)

When, twenty years ago, Janet introduced Mason Bees into our family, neither of us had a notion of what she was starting.  By now I well know that mason bees are an entry drug into the world of bees, for they are easy to both raise and observe.  They have lured me deep into the pollinator world.

This past weekend (July 24 - 26) was definitely another tipping point, where I attended a program mostly about recognizing bumble bees.  Forty plus folk gathered in a Snohomish County Extension classroom (one county north of Seattle) to expand their knowledge of pollinators and receive instruction on how to recognize bumble bees down to their species and gender, taught by Rich Hatfield.  Rich is the biologist for Bumble Bee Watch, (a project of The Xerces Society), and he did a good job covering a complex topic.

A poster: Study pollinators at Oly Public Library on 9/28/15The field trip the next day was soggy — the first real rain in weeks.  It started with showers, and many of the bees we spotted were wet and huddled under larger flowers.  Ninety minutes in, and both insects and insect surveyors were soaked and wanting to hide. With our field trip shortened, some of us retreated nearby for warmth and hot drinks.  By the end of the workshop day I already knew that I wanted (needed) to do the same thing in Thurston County -- well not the getting soaked part, but that will happen too.  With the caffeinated conversations in my head, I considered the next steps while driving home a few counties to the south.

So what is next?  How about a monthly study group on native pollinators (not honey bees) and then a weekend short course, this time in Thurston County.  Look for regular updates including speakers / topics on our blog main page under "Pollinator Study":
Pollinators Study Group (Thurston Co, WA)

This is your invitation: if you live in the area and are interested in being part of a regular study group that wants to both learn more about some of the pollinators of the South Sound, and share some of your knowledge with others as well, please come.  The first meeting will be a mix of "Show and Tell" (bring something), and planning for the future.  We look forward to seeing you.

Meeting room, Olympia Timberland Regional Library, Monday, Sept 28th, 6:00 p.m. 

Glen Buschmann
360/ 352-9009

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