Carpenter Ants 🐜 and Carpenter Bees 🐝

Recently, I posted a video that one of our Volunteers, Bruce, took of some carpenter ants making a nest in an old piece of Fir (see below.)

Then I found a video about Carpenter Bee nests. What was particularly fascinating about their nests is that they are very similar to Mason Bee nests, some of which we maintain in the Canuck Place garden in Vancouver. When I have access to all my materials again, I’m currently working from home, I’ll post about our Mason Bees!

Unfortunately the video about Carpenter Bee nests cannot be played anywhere other than YouTube. You can search it by it’s title:

Carpenter Bee Tunnel and Development by Peter


Above is a video Bruce took of some carpenter ants making a nest in an old piece of Fir.

Bruce, often leaves interesting objects in the classroom for me to share with the children; mostly things he’s found in the garden! Lucky for us, Bruce is still sharing things with us even during this time of social distancing!

Carpenter Ants  make nests in wood by chewing sandpaper-smooth tunnels and chambers in wood. They cannot eat the wood. The wood is discarded as shredded fragments of coarse sawdust ejected from the nests. The sawdust may contain dead ants and bits of dead insects that the carpenter ants have eaten.

If you’ve seen a “big, black ant” outside your house, it was probably a carpenter ant. Carpenter ants serve a useful purpose in nature.  Their nests consist of tunnels and chambers chewed into soft wood.  The openings and hollow spaces they create contribute to the natural decay of stumps, logs and dead limbs.  Without recyclers such as carpenter ants we would be up to our necks in dead, un-decomposed organic matter in the landscape and woodlands.

The Day the Crayons Quit

Recently Emmett and I read one of my favourite books

In this book the crayons quit and each write a letter to their owner, Duncan, detailing their reasons for quitting. A lot of the crayons are upset that they are only used to colour a limited range of objects and would like to colour other things too.

After reading the book I asked Emmett to do a drawing using unexpected colours. And this is the brilliant result!

Small number and the big tree

Math Catcher

Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief. With his sister Perfect Number he visits their Grandma who lives in a small village on their Nation’s traditional territory.


Math Catcher

To promote mathematics among Aboriginal learners a group led by Veselin Jungic of The IRMACS Centre at SFU has created a series of stories with mathematical themes. These stories are based on the storytelling tradition of Aboriginal peoples.

All of the stories have been translated into several Aboriginal languages, including Blackfoot, Cree, Halq’em ́eylem, Heiltsuk, Hul’q’umi’num’, Huu-ay- aht, Nisga’a, Sliammon, and Squamish languages.

All of the stories can be found at and on YouTube on ‘The IRMACS Centre’ channel

The first story, Small Number Counts to 100 was inspired by narration from Ms. Rina Sinclair of the Siksika Nation.