Thursday, November 5, 2009
Bees in the Garden
A bee house for mason bees. These bees are solitary, meaning that each one tends to her own brood, about six to eight babies, and all each one needs is a hole the size of a pencil in a block of wood. They do not live in large hives with thousands of workers like honey bees. You can get fancy and create a handsome bee house like the one my son in law did for me.
Watching the comings and goings of your little tenants can be almost as much fun as watching birds at your bird house, and there is no reason to fear their stings. Unlike honey bees they are very gentle; I have let them climb on my hand without problems. They emerge in early spring and are busy through April and May and, perhaps early June. You won't see more activity until next year. You can see the video.
This one emerged from its long winter sleep shortly before Easter, so I call it my Easter bunny bee.
Let us provide a habitat for some of the numerous helpers to our gardens, pollinators, a few tips provided by:
Urban Bee Gardens
Selecting Plants for Pollinators
You may also want to build nest boxes for those bees that make their homes in cavities.
There are instructions in several websites:
National Wildlife Federation
Audubon. Bring on the Bees.
Or you may choose to buy a bee house from one of the several companies that make them, such as:
Northwest Nature Shop
Mason Bee Homes
(I am not endorsing any one, just saving you some leg work or mouse work).
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