In the vast world of bees, the honeybee – and its mysterious population decline – tends to take center stage. All the while, another species is diligently and quietly at work to fulfill the critical role of plant pollinator.
The Mason bee is a solitary bee. Unlike species categorized as social bees, solitary bees spend their lives in the company of – but independent from – other bees. Every female is a queen. Her daily life is spent seeking pollen and caring for the eggs which will emerge to become the next generation.
Dave Hunter of Seattle, WA has been teaching gardeners how to promote and play host to these docile creatures, native to North America. The simple steps to invite these beneficial insects into our gardens and commercial agricultural operations will add a new dimension of wonder to the experience and create a game-changing increase in crop production.
Spend some time with us in exploring the life and power of the humble Mason bee. You may soon be finding yourself looking beyond the hive to observe the activity of these tube-dwelling pollinators and their beneficial neighbors.
The joe gardener Show podcast: Episode 102-The Pollinating Power of Solitary Bees, and How to Attract These Gentle Insects To Your Backyard Garden
Mason Bee House Instructions A point of clarification if you make this simple mason bee house: Note the instructions for this house call for two pieces of wood for the roof of the house. You really only need the one piece for the roof. The second piece is helpful to place directly on top of the tubes to weigh them down and hold them in place. The tubes are very lightweight and can blow out or shift, so the extra weight from the piece of wood resting on them helps keep them in place.
Crown Bees – The source for this story and where to find supplies and mason bees.
Our sincere thanks for the awesome bee photo used with permission from Kim Phillips
Mason Bee Revolution, by Dave Hunter
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