Thinking about expanding your native pollinator forage offerings this season? Look no further than the Thurston County Conservation District Annual Native Plant Sale this Saturday, March 6th from 10-3:00 pm at the district office in Tumwater.
There will be displays, special presentations and activities and while you're there, stop by the OBA table and say "hello"! Weather permitting, we'll have our observation hive for an up-close look at our amazing honey bees. Everyone is welcome to attend the free presentations all day, including "The Amazing Honey Bee" at 11:00. We look forward to seeing you there!
Input your address for links to your Senator and Representatives. Click on each name for their office phone to leave a message and/or to send an email.
Two items have almost reached the finish line and need a final push!
First item: EHB 2478 (the bee forage pilot project) will be considered by the Senate in a floor vote this coming week, February 29th-March4th. Please call and/or email your Senator and ask for their support in favor of HB 2478. This bill will conduct forage replacement projects around the state to find the best methods to replace noxious weeds with good bee forage. HB 2478 passed 96 to 1 in the House and unanimously from the committees which heard testimony on it. The forage projects in this bill will help promote healthy honey bee and other pollinator populations and thus better serve the needs of pollinated agriculture and the environment.
Second item: The permanent new bee researcher position for WSU has been successfully inserted into the Senate version of this year's supplemental budget. It had been inserted into the House version, but was removed. Speaker Chopp of the House needs the support of all the Representatives to re-insert it and not let it be removed again. Your Representatives must hear of your support! Call and/or email your Representatives before Monday to tell them bee research is vital for bees in overcoming the problems which have led to increasing losses of hives. WSU has the right emphasis on bee research, and a second bee researcher would greatly increase the innovations coming from WSU toward making our bees healthier. The top four states in terms of pollinated acres are California, Washington, Michigan and Oregon. The number of bee researchers in each is 9, 1, 2 and 2 respectively! Washington State University has Dr. Steve Sheppard as the sole researcher, and he's extremely busy serving as the chair of the Entomology Department there. An additional bee researcher, working on ideas applicable and specific to the Pacific Northwest, would greatly contribute to how we can improve our bee populations.
Both items contribute positively for the health and sustainability of our bees. With support from beekeepers, the first item mentioned above has a good chance of passing. The second will not happen without the voice of every beekeeper in the state.
Now is the time! Please make an effort to improve bee forage and bee research in Washington by contacting your Senator and Representatives.
Roger and Kitty are exemplary ambassadors of public awareness for pollinators! Not only did they install a beautiful bee-themed planting bed filled with flowering plants pollinators love, they went over the top with their custom-built post for holding information about the campaign. Kudos to both for an outstanding job and a beautiful way for their "These Plants Feed Bees" sign to be displayed. Thanks for being such great pollinators!
And take a look below at a gorgeous garden bed filled with fabulous food for bees. This project represents the best of collaboration; the bed was built through a special Kitchen Garden Project from the wonderful folks at GRuB (http://goodgrub.org/ ). Laurie, the garden's new owner, attended the Pollinator Garden Dedication Event at Panorama in June, which inspired her plant choices for the bees. Abundant thanks to Laurie and GRuB for this gorgeous garden!
We love to see what you're doing to help bees. Keep the photos coming and thank you!
The wonderful folks at the Swantown Inn & Spa at 1431 11th Ave. SE in Olympia are now one of the locations where you can secure your own Nikki McClure sign.
We will be posting additional locations. We'll also be participating in the Hands On Children's Museum kids camp on Thursday, July 2nd and will have signs and information available at the museum that day. You can also contact Laurie Pyne at LMPCarl@gmail.com for more information, or if you'd like to carry the sign at your place of business.
Don't forget to do something today that has a positive effect on pollinators. Thank you for helping!