• Oregon grape- a great pollen and nectar producer

    This hardy and drought tolerant plant loves the sun.  It blooms when mason bees and bumble bees are looking for forage early in the spring.  An amazing plant that can be hedged or grow as tall as 8 feet.

  • Food for Bees-spring flowers

    Title

    Bees depend on flowers for own survival and the survival of their offspring.  Pieris japonica is an amazing plant.  It is hardy, drought tolerant and when pruned after bloom, it produces a mass of flowers the following spring.  A  delicious scent tells bees there is food available.    Nectar and pollen are available from flowers such as these.  all bees are vegetarian and need pollen for their protein source and nectar for their source of energy.  Go to your garden center and pick one of the many available varieties.

  • Big Leaf Maple

    The Big Leaf Maple Acer macrophyllum of Coastal north America produces abundant flowers in spring.   When in full bloom and if it is sunny it sounds like the whole tree is going to buzz off!  It is a great spring food source for bees.  The close up picture is of another Acer spp. and also has lots of flowers for bee forage.

  • What to do with pine resin in nesting trays.

    Resin bees nest in cavities using resin pitch from trees to close off their nesting tunnels.  When opening nests in the fall and you see small pupae between  walls of resin, close up the nests and bees will emerge the following spring.  If nests are empty proceed as noted by Kat B. 

    “Dear Dr. Dogterom,

    Thank you for your response!

    After some trial and error, I found the best way to clean the resin was with boiling hot water. I submerged the trays in the water and let them sit briefly to allow the resin to soften. I then scraped each channel clean using a small screw driver wrapped in cotton gauze. The material picked up the sticky mess and I adjusted the wrapping as I went so that I did not simply redistribute the mess. A very light residue remained, but was no longer tacky after cooling. Overall this process was very effective and fairly efficient – I had quite a few trays with resin, but was able to quickly clean them.  I found it best to work with two trays at a time.   Sincerely, Kat B.  🐝