Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

ABGC and SRMT Environment Team Up for "Bees"


Kelly Jackson with her son Jack, proudly holding his handmade Solitary Bee House.

The SRMT Environment Division's, Wayne Samphier and the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club teamed together to address 'Pollination Protection' by building Solitary Bee Houses. The newly built bee house will become homes to native pollinators such as the leaf cutter bees. Over a six-week time frame Club members, age ten to twelve, built a solitary bee house using simple lumber and phragmites.

Phragmites (European Common Reed) is an invasive plant causing damage to New York and Ontario's biodiversity, wetlands and beaches. Invasive phragmites are a perennial grass that has been damaging ecosystems for decades. It grows in dense stands which crowd out native vegetation, resulting in decreased plant biodiversity and a poor habitat for wildlife, impacting species at risk. Using phragmites as a material in building solitary bee homes helps the environment in many different ways. You can recognize phragmites as tall reeds with a bushy, grass like top.

Jessica Shenandoah with her daughter Sophia who is holding her bee house and a sunflower to be planted close to the bee house.

These bee homes will provide a nesting home for many different native bees. Although solitary bees do not make honey like honey bees, they pollinate up to twenty time as many plants compared to honey bees, giving solitary bees a vital role in the growth of our gardens, flowers, brushes and trees. Solitary bees support our plant friends by making baby plants and our community stronger.

The Solitary Bee House Project materials were either donated or already on hand, so the cost of building the houses added up to 'zero', with the benefits to the environment as monumental.

The Club members started their projects in April and presented their projects to their Mom and/or special person on Friday, May 11th.

Several individuals donated materials to make this project possible; George Emery provided phragmites straws, Phil Furnace provided the wood for the houses, Tasha Guatney provided the sunflower seeds, dirt and assisted Club members in building their bee homes, and Les Benedict provided polyurethane.


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