For more than a decade, the Yukon Fish and Game Association has helped youngsters build houses for our winged friends. That tradition will continue on May 10 with a workshop to build bat and bird houses at the Canada Games Centre from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The workshop is a free drop-in event aimed at kids up to the age of 18.

“As long as you can swing a hammer, or your parents can help you swing a hammer, you’re able to take part,” says the association’s executive director, Gordon Zealand.

“We’ll provide the designs, the supplies, and guidance. You’ll get to build your bat or bird house and take it home.”

Zealand explains that the project is driven by Yukon Fish and Game Association president, Dean Tower, who creates the designs and mobilizes the membership to come out and help the young participants build their creations each year.

“It’s really fun to watch all of the kids come out each year, I’m excited to see a new group out this year to build their houses,” he says.

There is an option for the not-so-young to get involved in the fun as well.

This year for the first time, the workshop will include an option to build bee houses, which will be open to anyone who would like to participate.

“Researchers with connections to the University of Ottawa and University of Alberta, including Yukoner Maria Leung, are spending time in the Yukon this summer trying to get a handle on our bee populations,” explains Zealand.

“Yukoners can contribute to the study by building and monitoring a bee house.”

The results of this first bee survey work will be available in a report at the end of the summer.

“We really encourage anyone who wants to contribute to this work to come out on the 10th,” says Zealand.

“The creation process is very quick – drilling holes in a piece of wood – and the City of Whitehorse and University of Ottawa have stepped up to provide all the supplies for the bee house construction.”

The hope is that these bee houses will provide a starting point for understanding where bee populations are at in Yukon.