Friday, 25 August 2017

Bananas and Leafcutter Bees in Vancouver

Musa Basjoo
     This week in the garden our mature banana plant is coming into bloom and will be producing bananas.  The bananas from this Asian textile banana (the stalk and leaves have been used in Japan and China for centuries to produce a fabric) are small and not edible but very cute.  Every year someone cuts off the bananas and one year they cut off the entire plant.  We may fence the banana plants to protect them this year.  The banana grove was burnt during our fire but has recovered very well.  We may be selling or raffling off some of our banana plants to raise money for our reconstruction.

Leafcutter bee cocoons
     Also this week in the garden about 40 native Leafcutter Bees (Megachile rotundata - Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee) emerged from their cocoons over a period of about 2 days in our garden native bee hotel (in the apiary).  This is late for them as they are normally an earlier, good summer pollinator.  They usually emerge after consistent daily temperatures of 24 C. (75 Fahrenheit).  Mally and Glen have had a leafcutter bee nesting (observed bringing in pieces of leaves) in a crack in one of their garden boxes for a few weeks earlier in August.
Leafcutter Bee
        Just a reminder this Sunday at 10 am will be our monthly work party.  One project we will be working on is rebuilding our greenhouse.  If anyone has a spare truck around let us know.  We need to transport some lumber.  Happy gardening.

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