My name is Dr Margriet Dogterom and am the founder and owner of Beediverse. I write this blog for all who love bees and who want to learn more about these wonderful creatures.
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Spring is a great time of year to get started with mason bees.
Having your own mason bees to pollinate your fruit trees helps to get a better fruit set, more and larger fruit.
Wherever you live, set out a mason bee home on a East facing wall, under cover from the rain, and in the sunshine.
Mason bees are present in North America, Asia, and in Europe. Each continent with its own species. Their nesting habits are the same.
You get better results if you set out a 5-6 homes for mason bees in your region. With more nests, it is more likely that one of the nest is placed where a local mason bee will find it. She will then produce offspring for you for next spring’s pollination season.
To keep mason bees healthy every year, harvest cocoons, clean out the nest and set the clean home out ready for spring.
Mor information on cleaning cocoons and nest can be found in my book “Pollination with Mason Bees”. Available from your store or our on line web site Beediverse.com
Spring is a busy season for everyone!
Stores are stocked up with mason bee homes, books and DVD’s. Most gardeners have set out their cleaned mason bee home and are ready for the bees to come out. Some new mason bee enthusiasts, missed out on getting their mason bees, but they are still setting out their bee homes, because a female in the area, might find the nest and produce offspring for next year.
Nectarine and peach blossoms are opening up in California. This is also happening in Arizona, but a recent frost likely damaged a lot of blossoms.
Here in Vancouver BC temperatures are still cool, but Pieris japonicus is out especially in protected areas such as alongside buildings.
Rex Welland always told me that in the warmer Victoria (BC), mason bees would come out mid-March, and fill their first nesting tubes by late March. Right on schedule!
Watch out for the tell tale sign of clay-like deposits on the front of the nest. These are the first droppings of the newly emerged bees.