Why Your Garden Needs Mason Bees
Every gardener needs a mason bee colony. If you only populate your garden with one type of insect let it be mason bees. Your garden will love you for it and supply you with a bounty of flowers and produce.
What Are Mason Bees
Mason bees are masonry bees. These bees use mud in the construction of their nests. This type of bee is an essential garden pollinator. But do not confuse them with honey bees.
Do Mason Bees Sting
Masonry bees do not sting so don’t worry about protective bee gear when handling them or interacting in the garden with them.
The fact that mason bees don’t sting makes them a great garden partner. It also helps when getting your kids involved in learning about pollination, “good bugs” and keeping a mason bee colony in a bee house or bug hotel.
What Do Mason Bees Look Like
The best description of a mason bee is a cross between a honey bee and a fly. They are more mute in color. You won’t see bright yellow stripes on a mason bee. They resemble a fuzzy fly.
Mason Bees vs Honey Bees
Masonry bees and honey bees both pollinate and are great for your garden. However, honey bees make honey and have a stinger. Masonry bees are essential pollinators and do not sting.
Masonry bees pollinate 10x what a honey bee will pollinate. I read the best description a few years ago masonry bees get all up in the pollen of a flower flapping about. Where honey bees delicately hop from flower to flower. Masonry bees are pollen partiers spreading it everywhere, where honey bees have a plan and purpose.
Do Mason Bees Make Honey
No, masonry bees do not make honey. If you are wanting to have a honey hive on your urban homestead invest in a bee box, learn about bee handling and seek out a reputable bee supplier.
Where Do Mason Bees Live
Masonry bees live in mud hives, small holes in logs and in bug hotels. Masonry bees are a great way to get your kids involved in the garden. Every little kid and those young at heart love the idea of a bug hotel. They are super easy to set up and supply with bees.
Mason Bee House
Masonry bee houses come in a variety of styles. You can find them online or at your local garden store. Essentially, masonry bee houses are hollowed out wooden tubes where the female bees will lay their eggs, place pollen and create mud walls or plugs.
Some styles of bee houses allow you to place paper tubing in the holes so you can remove the cocoons, store them in a safe place over winter (in the fridge or cool garage) and clean the hive.
Our masonry bees cleaned the tubing themselves and we keep our bug house in a desired area for our bees.
Popular Mason Bee Houses:
Where To Put A Bee House
You want to place your bee house in a south facing area away from rain and snow. With access to fresh water and flower pollen come spring. Depending on your area mason bees will emerge March Thru May.
How To Attract Bees To A Bee House
If you place your bee house in a good location with a good supply of water, “mud” and flower pollen the bees will find your bee house.
You can also buy mason bees and place them near the bee house essentially populating the bee house. We did purchase a mason bee starter package from our local garden store to populate our house for under $20. We have since had leaf cutter bees and mason bees take up residence.
When Do Mason Bees Emerge
Masonry bees will emerge March thru May depending on your climate. If your bug hotel has attracted leaf cutter bees they will emerge later in the summer.
Are Masonry Bees Good Pollinators
Mason bees are amazing pollinators and a must for any gardener or homesteader. Masonry bees are popular orchard bees, used to pollinate the fruit trees and increase produce yields.
Where To Buy Mason Bees
You can purchase masonry bees from your local garden store, a reputable bee keeper or I have seen masonry bees sold on marketplace. We got our bees from our local garden store in a 20 bee package two years ago and still have bees coming back to the hive each year.
Why Your Garden Needs Mason Bees
Your garden needs masonry bees because they are the best pollinators.
Why Masonry Bees Are Important
Without bees there is no produce. Which means no food. This is why bees are so important.
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