Mason Bees

Mason beesOne of my goals (13 skills) was to learn more about bees, and to get some mason bees out there working on my fruit trees.  Honey bees are still a plan, but not for a year or two.

My husband isn’t so sure about bees, not wanting to get stung. A friend of ours who has raised honey bees for several years, will be great help.  Yes, stinging is a real possibility. I listened to his bee presentation at a local library a couple months ago. He was telling how bees get to know and like or dislike certain people. One of his sons couldn’t get too close to the bees or their humm would change to an angry humm.  The bees didn’t mind him though.  I was surprised to hear him recommend plastic instead of wood, as he build his from wood.

Honey bees take a bit of care and watching. Plan is to wait until we live over there to start with honey bees. Meanwhile, I’d love to make sure our fruit trees have plenty of pollinators.  Mason bees.

Mason bees are easier to care for than honey bees. You don’t worry about getting stung. They are great pollinators.  I’m not an expert on these tiny bees.

I remembered a podcast where the guest also had a mason bee partner program in my area.  I got in touch.

Plum TreeJacob Nielson was going to be in my area the next week and explained the program.  Basically I let him place his bees on my land as a free lease, he comes back and collects the bees and saves them until the next spring.  I gave him directions to my place. He placed the bee house and the bees.  Doesn’t get easier than that!

Our fruit tree area is on a north facing slope, with a spring fed creek at the bottom.  Lots of mature oaks, hickories, beech trees.  He placed their home on an  oak tree, facing south (which is also towards my fruit trees) with the creek behind them.

When I visited first day of spring, I found lots of pollinators on my plum trees.  Many of these were mason bees of some variety.  (See, I told you I’m not an expert). They look more like a fly or flying ant than a bumble bee.  My oldest daughter said they were like little fairies working in my trees. Nice!

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