For several years now, we’ve heard and talked about the significant and ongoing loss of the honeybee population. It is still a mystery as to why these bees are disappearing, but we are starting to tap into the use of other types of pollinators. One of these types of pollinators is the solitary bee, or Mason Bee.
In this vast world of bees, there are many different types of species. All of these types are classified as either social or solitary. Social bees, like honeybees, live with thousands of others and have very specific job duties. Solitary bees, like Mason bees, spend their entire life living along, and every female bee is considered a queen, so all queens are worker bees.
Today, Joe takes us to meet Dave Hunter in Seattle, WA, who has turned his backyard hobby of bee keeping into a solitary bee business. With the help of like-minded employees, Crown Bee helps increase awareness of mason bees and how they are an alternate pollinator to the commercial orchard and food producers.
As a point of clarification if you make this simple mason bee house: Note the instructions for this house call for 2 pieces of wood for the roof of the house. You really only need the one piece for just the roof. But, the second piece is helpful to place directly on top of the tubes to weigh them down and hold them in place. They are very lightweight and can blow out or shift. The extra weight from the piece of wood resting on top of them helps keep them in place.
Crown Bees – The source for this story and where to find supplies and mason bees
Stark Brother’s Nursery – Our source of choice for the fruit trees and shrubs used on the show and at the GGWTV Garden Farm.
WaterRight Inc – Where to find the hose and wand seen in this episode.
Our sincere thanks for the awesome bee photo used with permission from Kim Phillips