Mason bees definitely have earned the title of tremendous pollinator and are a yard gardener’s new greatest pal. If you’re a yard gardener, these light bugs could be the important thing to having an much more profitable rising season. They’re simple to lift, non-aggressive and native to North America.
Final spring, I made a decision to enterprise into the world of beekeeping. Whereas holding a big hive stuffed with honey could be rewarding, holding solitary bees could be extra inexpensive, extra newbie pleasant and fewer of a long run dedication.
Solitary bees don’t reside in colonies, don’t make hives and don’t produce honey. The mason bee is nice at enhancing pollination effectivity and growing fruit set 2x higher than honey bees.
“Once you pollinate with solitary mason or leafcutter bees reasonably than honey bees, you’ll see considerably extra fruits, veggies and flowers in your gardens.” – Crown Bees
Now that we all know that mason bees are solitary bees, let’s dive a bit deeper! These useful mates are solely energetic in your backyard in early spring for about 4-6 weeks. After that, they are going to be dwelling inside their nesting chambers prepping for hibernation till temperatures change into heat sufficient to emerge once more within the spring.
Every spring, mason bees emerge from their cocoons as soon as temperatures attain round 55°F/13°C. They may then spend their time in your backyard accumulating meals, constructing nests, mating and laying eggs. Each feminine mason bee lays eggs, so each feminine is a queen!
If you wish to get began with holding mason bees, right here’s what you’ll want.
- A protected shelter out of direct solar
- All pure reeds, cardboard straws or wooden trays to make use of as nests
- A clay-rich mud supply
- A backyard stuffed with crops to pollinate
Since I’m a newbie, I knew I wished to start out out with an entire package that had all the things I wanted. One in all my gardening mates, who has had success elevating mason bees, really useful I attempt ordering on-line from Crown Bees.
There are lots of totally different types, sizes and styles of bee homes to select from to suit your backyard house. I picked out a Chalet Bee House Kit with bees included! This package lets you customise and select what you obtain with seasonal add-ons and useful extras.
I went with the chalet bee home, a chicken guard, a cocoon hatchery, pure reeds, a mud combine, a local bee information, the spring equipment package deal and 20 mason bee cocoons acclimated to my area. I actually like how they provide kits like this with all the things included. It makes it really easy and easy to get began!
MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A SUPPLY OF MUD!
You learn that appropriately! One of the crucial vital elements of caring for these useful bees is offering them with a detailed supply of clay-rich mud! Having a pure supply round positively varies on the place you reside. My soil is on the sandy aspect, so I made certain to get the mud combine.
This mud is a vital nest constructing materials. I had such a blast watching them acquire mud balls and carry them again to the nest whereas I used to be planting within the backyard!
In the event you determine to make use of a mud combine like I did, be sure that so as to add in some rocks and twigs from across the yard. Since I used a container and didn’t make my mud gap instantly within the floor, I additionally made certain so as to add in a few of my very own soil.
As soon as it was combined, I made certain to water it day by day to maintain it from drying out. I additionally saved it behind one among my raised beds so it was a bit extra protected against predators like birds. You may as well add a rooster wire strip on prime for further safety.
I discovered a lot about mason bees simply from one gardening season. I’m persevering with to be taught an increasing number of about them whereas elevating and caring for them. It’s a really instructional expertise all whereas benefiting the atmosphere round you. Listed here are some prime the explanation why gardeners (like me) love elevating mason bees.
- They don’t have any hive and produce no honey, so they’re much simpler to lift
- 1 solitary mason bee is the same as 100 honey bees pollinating
- Mason bees will often keep inside 300 ft. of the house
Inquisitive about what mason bees eat? Their weight loss program consists of pollen, nectar and honey. Pollen and nectar are each supplied by flowers, and so they aren’t very choosy. They do have a desire for something native, aromatic, purple and blue.
Together with utilizing pollen as a protein supply, in addition they use it to line their nests. On the subject of honey, they’ll acquire it from bee hives and use it as a meals supply of their very own.
Listed here are just a few totally different flowers you’ll be able to plant in your spring backyard in your mason bees.
Not solely are poppies a stunningly stunning cool season flower, they’re additionally engaging to pollinators. If you’re searching for species so as to add to your yard which are native to japanese North America attempt Papaver radicatum, or Arctic poppy. One other native that’s in the identical household is Sanguinaria canadensis, additionally known as Bloodroot. Though not native to North America, I do get pleasure from rising Papaver somniferum, also called Opium poppies. One in all my all time favourite selection is named “Turkish Pink“.
When nothing else is blooming but within the Northeast, crocuses are the primary to the social gathering. The earliest species to bloom is the Crocus chrysanthus or Snow crocus. I additionally like Crocus ancyrensism or Ankara crocus for early bloom. One other nice early species is named Crocus tommasinianus, or the Woodland crocus. My favourite selection selection is named “Ruby Large“. This appears to draw the bees in droves!
Many Jacob’s ladder species have a stunning blue colour. This plant additionally options some attractive foliage! Polemonium reptans, or Creeping Jacob’s ladder is native to japanese North America. One in all my favourite varieties is named “Stairway to Heaven“. Polemonium caeruleum, which is also called Greek valerian, is a hardy perennial flowering plant that’s excellent for the bees. Polemonium acutiflorum, or Tall Jacob’s ladder can naturally be present in meadows and riverbanks.
Mason bees assist to extend genetic variety of crops, play a significant function in our ecosystem and can assist out your backyard. Now that you realize a bit extra about this fascinating pollinator, I hope you’ll add some to your yard! Once you improve the provision of native flowers and provides them with assets they want, you’ll, for sure, invite them to your individual yard!
Have you ever raised your individual mason bees? Inform me all about it within the remark part under! I hope you loved this submit and thanks a lot for visiting.
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