I am now the proud owner of a bee hut. Yes, that’s what I said – bee hut. It’s a tiny house made of short bamboo sticks with a wee little roof. And it will house an entire colony of bees – as long as they have a Queen. She rules the roost you know.
Terry Burr of the Burrs and the Bees, one of our local honey vendors, told me how one day he looked up and saw a magnificent black cloud floating high above him and when he squinted up into the sky he saw that they were actually bees. Swarms of them swimming across the clouds.
As he marveled at this sight something incredible happened. The thousands and thousands (and thousands) of bees turned around and headed back. And quite remarkably they all went back into the hive. Perplexed, Terry asked another beekeeper if had ever heard of this, because once bees leave the hive they are gone, vamoose, Splits Ville.
It’s very rare, but they will come back for one reason and one reason only. The Queen never left. Must have been some hive – like The Ritz Carlton for bees.
Last weekend was Garden Days, Part One and speaking of bees I met the Queen Bee herself. Marion Robertson. Marion is a columnist for the Puslinch Pioneer and every month I eagerly await her advice on all things flora and fauna. She asked me if I wanted to make a bee hut – well, if you know me, City Girl, I didn’t make it but I did buy one for $2.00!
And she showed me a totally cool way to make a house for bumblebees out of a flower pot so you could put it close to your garden for them to pollinate. In my case a vegetable garden – no green thumb here, so I can use all the help I can get! Happy bees, happy tomatoes, happy Daina!
Marion wasn’t the only Queen Bee there. Lise Burcher, a University of Guelph Professor in the Landscape Architecture department helped me find the answer I have been searching for after trying to grow tomatoes for decades.
To me Lise is like Mother Nature, if not the great woman herself than she is most definitely her trusted Right Hand Gal. She thoughtfully considered my tomato challenge and came up with not one, but two brilliant solutions on how to keep them from falling over. My husband Wayne will be in awe when I tell him what I know. I’m not just a pretty City Girl anymore.
This weekend Garden Days Part Two continues. It’s fun and interactive for the kids, they get to plant seeds in little dirt cartons and learn where their food comes from. And if you have gardening questions, our experts will be back in the saddle again to help.
And bring your dull garden tools because Sharp My Knife will be there to sharpen them. They are a new service vendor at the market and will be there this weekend and the fourth Saturday of every month. Note to self…..bring knives and scissors too.
So what’s new at the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market this weekend? We have new vendors starting Saturday: Ravissante – one of our many new vendors, with body care products made locally with mild and natural ingredients; our monthly resident Sharp My Knife starts this weekend; and Hughesart: Marg Hughes makes beautiful hand made stained glass windows.
What else is new that you can look forward to this weekend? VanDenBroek Farm will have….drum roll please…….tomatoes and cucumbers! Parker Family Farm will have spinach. And to tempt your sweet tooth Sweet Temptations will have a new cupcake flavour.
Speaking of cupcakes, Serenity Soaps will have three new “flavours” to choose from their Cupcake Bombs – no you don’t eat them silly! You throw them in the bath and they fizz up which is calming and soothing for your skin and creates a soft water environment as well. Now there’s a fun fact for ya. And Claudia Stocker will help the whole family ward off mosquitos with her natural citronella mist
Love at First Bite whose hot and sour soup was so delightfully fresh and full of flavour will be bringing a fresh veggie roll this Saturday. You’ll know who I am, because I’ll be first in line. YUM.
Back by popular demand will be Rootham Preserves two new sauces Hot and Chunky Asparagus Salsa and Honey Asparagus BBQ Sauce. Shady Grove Maple will be back with their new spice: Maple Pepper, which comes in three different flavours. And one of my favourites Top Market Meats Honey Garlic Sausage.
So just for fun here’s Terry Burr’s other fascinating bee story.
Terry had one beehive that was all alone and apart from the others. Beehives do better when gathered all together but you can’t just pick up a beehive. So every day he would go out and get down on his back and with his knees bent ever so gently push the beehive one foot closer to the others.
Except one day he pushed too hard and the beehive fell over. He asked if I knew what an experienced beekeeper does when he pushes over a beehive. Enraptured, I said “no” and countered “what did you, an experienced beekeeper do?” His experienced, educated and honest answer: “Run like Hell!”
If you would like to find out what all the buzz is about please come visit our friendly market and family of vendors this weekend for Garden Days Part Two. We will be there every weekend along with the food you love, the growers you know, every Saturday from 8am to 1pm.