Come join us as we learn about bee keeping from our very own Dean Anesi. As our native and imported bee populations continue to decline here in the west and across the country, bee keeping is becoming increasingly important to offset colony decimation. Bees are essential to effective pollination and also provide a tasty and nutritious food in the form of honey.
Enjoy an evening with some light refreshments and great company as we learn about everything required to keep bees, and how truly simple and enjoyable this 4,000 year-old art can be to even the casual gardener.
Date: Wednesday, February 1st
Where: Sugar House Park Garden Center, 1602 East 2100 South
[Update 2/7/12] Beekeeping Success! Thanks to everyone who came out; one of our highest member turnouts ever! A big thanks to Dean Anesi for sharing his vast knowledge on beekeeping as well. According to Dean, formal classes on beekeeping begin later this month. If beekeeping interests you (as it certainly does me), contact the Utah Beekeepers Association regarding these classes or click here. If you want to learn more about bee husbandry in Utah, here are some links to some local beekeeping clubs: Utah Beekeepers Association, Utah County Beekeepers Association, and the Wasatch Beekeepers Association.
More information can also be obtained through your local book distributor. Dean recommends two books for beginners: Beekeeping for Dummies and, First Lessons in Beekeeping.
If beekeeping isn’t really your thing, there are still ways to support local bee populations (and populations of other native fauna as well). Russ recommends a great site for native plants, American Beauties, which is a useful resource for finding and growing plants for a more natural, bee friendly, habitat. The Native Seed Network is another excellent site, providing information on specific ecoregions and the native flora found within sub-ecoreqions. Still another option is Western Native Seed out of Colorado. They specialize in native plants for the Rocky Mountains and western plains.
As we continue the march through the winter of our weather’s discontent with unusually warm days and an absence of valley snow, it’s hard not to think of spring (still weeks away, a realization that can quickly induce midwinter melancholia). Some comfort can be found now that it’s time to start planting seeds and planning the garden. If you’re like me, the seed/plant catalogues have already been scoured, dog-eared, marked, and orders finalized. Trees, perennial plants, annual flowers, and seeds are or will soon be on the way. Part of making this process successful is understanding our soil and climate. If you’ve lived here awhile, you know both, including our numeric designation on the USDA Hardiness Zone map. In our changing world and its weather, that number isn’t as static as we would have thought.
The USDA has updated and released a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map, finally. This updated version takes into account the urban heat island effect as well as climate change in general. The map is interactive, and you can click here to go to the USDA map page or click the image below.
Alternately, the Arbor Day Foundation released their updated map in 2006, which some say is a better reflection of their local climate. It looks like the Wasatch Front generally, at Zone 6, and the Salt Lake Valley, specifically, at Zone 7 (roughly 0° – 10° average annual extreme minimum temperature) are the same on both maps, though the USDA map splits the valley into 7a and 7b, differentials of 5° (my zone changed from a 6b to a 7a) . You can click here to go to the ADF map or click the image below.
Today at approximately 3:30pm MST, the Alternative Garden Club website went offline. The website was down for several hours as we worked to restore the site from backup. We have resolved the underlying cause and should now be fully functional again and for the foreseeable future. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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