🌿Spring Project – YOU (yes, you!) Raising Mason Bees🐝

Do you love educational opportunities and super adorable, non-aggressive pollinators? How about if it’s a low-maintenance project that you don’t even have to leave your house to participate in? Sounds like you or someone you know might enjoy the experience of raising Mason Bees this spring! We are partnering with the good people at Rent Mason Bees to simplify this experience for our customers.

(Of course, you can rent directly from them on their website if you’re interested and want to do it yourself, but we are offering it as one of our services this spring and it can be added into a routine maintenance visit, given as a gift, etc.)

mason bee lifecycle
Why Support Mason Bees
  • Pollination! Mason bees will increase your yields for plants and trees that flower from March – June. Honeybees don’t event start until mid-June most years and sometimes only tend to pollinate about 5% of the flowers around them, while mason bees have a pollination rate of 95-99%.
  • Education. Raising your own mason bees gives you a chance to experience the miracle of mason bees up-close and personal.
  • Supporting our native bee populations. The mason bees you host on your property will lay eggs in the nesting boxes you provide, but some of them will also lay eggs out in nature.
  • They don’t sting and don’t require much care. That’s right! They are very docile, and they don’t have a single queen to protect like a honey bee. You can stand right in front of their bee house and not worry about you or your family being stung.
What HGO will do
  • We will pick up and install the boxes for you in late March, hanging them somewhere in a sunny spot. These friendly bees only travel about 300’ from their home, so even if your yardspace is small, you can likely still host bees!
  • If your property does not have a good mud hole for them, we will create one for you (most properties already have something suitable).
  • In June we will pick up the bees and return them to Rent Mason Bees, who clean and store the houses in the off season so they’re ready for the next year.
Why do the houses have to be returned?

The bees need to be protected from the parasitic mono wasp, mites, bacteria and fungus. In the wild, bees do not reuse the same nesting site year-after-year. If you want to keep bees year-round you can, but Rent Mason Bees does it for us to make it more economical and increase the likelihood of the bees surviving and multiplying. If you have old mason bee nesting boxes in your yard you should remove them and dispose of them – they are a source of disease, fungus and mites that harms mason bees and will probably just be ignored by wild bees as a good nesting place.

4514-orchard-bee-leaf-sig
Interested in participating?
We need to order the bees the first week of March, so email us soon
or give us a call at 206-498-8785 to let us know if you want to sign up!
We’re so excited to be offering this service,
and hope you’ll consider trying your own hobby bee-hosting!🐝

 

mason bee pollinating

For more macro shots of the blue orchard mason bee (Osmia lignaria, the same species we’re offering), check out this great post by Bee & Bloom!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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