Tuesday, June 28, 2011

THE BENEFICIAL MASON BEE

Have you ever heard of mason bees?  They are not to be confused with carpenter bees, which can cause damage to wood by drilling holes in it.  Mason Bees nest in holes they find already existing in nature, for example hollow reeds.
Since they can't drill into wood like carpenter bees, they don't cause damage to furniture, decks, etc.

What you see below is an actual "bee house", pre-made and ready for these beneficial bees to live in.

It's another one of the things I plan on buying for the farm.
With the honeybee population in decline, we are at risk of losing our pollinators and to have a successful garden you want good pollinators.

Mason bee house #1

They are very prolific pollinators and that's the key to any good garden, be it vegetables, flowers or fruits.  In fact, they are also called Orchard bees by some, because of their use in orchards to help farmers get the blooms on their trees.

In her short lifetime, a female can visit 60,000 blossoms as she gathers food for her young.
Below is another type of bee house, and this one is easy to make yourself.
I'll share the plans in a future post.

Mason bee house #2

Mason bees are are peaceful and non-stinging.
I do eventually want honeybees, not only for their pollinating ability, but also for their fresh honey as a byproduct.

But until then, I will get a few of these "houses", and hope to attract some mason bees to help out the pollination of the gardens and fruit trees.

3 comments:

Kelly said...

I love bees because I know I need them in a garden, but daughter freaks out every time she sees one. I would love to have bees and will have to look into one of these houses. Thanks.

1st Man said...

Just google "Mason Bees" and you'll find all sorts of info. There are even easy ways to make your own houses for them. Good luck!

Elisabet said...

I received one of these Mason bee houses for Christmas and as spring is approaching, although in New Hampshire it doesn't seem to think so, I have been contemplating where to put up this little house. I live in an old converted barn on 37 acres that we rent, and am putting in gardens this year so pollinators are important! Flowers and veggies and canning are all on the to-do-list this year, umm, as well as learning to spin wool! City girl turned country/farm girl, lol! Being from NYC my poor hubs still doesn't know what hit him! I am your newest follower by the way, and look forward to lots more visits to your blog!
Hugs,
Beth P