Sunday, March 20, 2016


This is a good time to plan for emerging mason bees. When temperatures reach the mid-50's (fahrenheit) for about four to five consecutive days, it's a good idea to have a place ready for them to create a nesting spot. This temperature range will coincide with the blossoming of orchard trees.

As bees emerge, they immediately begin foraging and depositing eggs. The pictured teardrop-shaped mason bee house is a good start when providing habitats. These houses are usually equipped with a hook for hanging, but in my experience bees prefer their houses to be stationary--no dangling. So be sure to secure them if you choose this type nesting site. 

The gentle mason bee is smaller than the honeybee, but works alongside them  compatibly. And, with only six in an area, they could successfully pollinate one whole fruit tree. Native to North America, these gentle bees pollinate almonds, melons, and blueberries.

Upon emerging, their lifespan is approximately four weeks, but males begin dying off a few days after pollination.

The nesting tubes in a mason bee dwelling need to be 6 inches long to protect the eggs from long beaks like those found on woodpeckers.

For more information and pictures on how you can help our native bees, visit:

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