• New to Mason Bees?

    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

  • March on the West coast-North America

    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.

  • Beediverse Products at the Flower and Garden show in Seattle.

    Here is Jim Tunnel(with cap), owner of Beez Neez explaining mason bees to 3 customers.

  • Setting out cocoons using a Royal, Lodge or Chalet

    The reason for setting out cocoons within the protection of a house that shelters nesting tunnels, is to provide the cocoons, and the mason bees inside, a place that is protected from predators like mice, protected from the sun and protected from rain and snow.

    It depends on the design of the house whether cocoons can simply be set within the house, like underneath the roof of the Highrise or whether space needs to be created for the vial like in the Starter Cottage.
    Royal house with predator guard

    Temporarily remove predator guard from the front of the Royal house,
    and set vial on its side, with tab removed,  underneath peaked roof.
     Replace predator guard.
    The Royal house is similar to the Highrise.  Simply remove predator guard, and set vial on its side underneath the peaked roof.
    If you have a Lodge- without the predator guard, or the Chalet with a predator guard, space needs to be created for the vial containing cocoons.  Remove one set of trays, insert vial above trays and replace vial with tray when all bees have emerged.
    Lodge without predator guard.
    Chalet with predator guard.
    Unwrap bundle of nesting trays by removing electricians tape.  Remove
    one set of trays, and re-tape remaining nesting trays.
    The vial can now be inserted under the roof and adjacent to the nesting tunnels.

    Replace the predator guard of the Chalet after vial has been set
    inside the house.  When all bees have emerged- about 2 weeks
    after first bees emerge, remove vial, tape up the individual tray
     and set above other trays.
  • Setting out mason bee cocoons in a Beediverse Starter Cottage

    If you buy a vial of Beediverse Mason Bee cocoons
    from a store, the cocoons need to be set it out adjacent to mason
    bee nesting tunnels.  Cocoons are
    washed, screened and candled before packaging them into vials.
    If you have a Starter Cottage
     with cardboard tubes it is best to set the vial of
    cocoons inside the cottage amongst the nesting tubes.

    Temporarily remove front door to access
    cardboard tubes.

    Remove a few cardboard tube to make room for one vial
    containing mason bee cocoons.
    Remove red tab covering the exit hole of the vial, and place
    vial amongst tubes.

    Replace front door and hang Starter Cottage on an East facing wall,
     in the sunshine and out of the rain.  This cottage can also be
     set down on a shelf.  Make sure it is secure so the wind
    or predators do not knock it off the shelf.
  • Setting out mason bee cocoons in a Beediverse Highrise

    Retail stores sell Beediverse mason bee cocoons in snap-cap vials.
    Cocoons were harvested from nesting tunnels and cleaned. 

    The Highrise contains Eco friendly Corn Quicklock nesting trays.
    Setting cocoons above nesting tunnels makes it easy for bees to find their new nests.
    Remove red tab that covers the vials’s exit hole,
    and lay vial with cocoons in the attic and underneath
    the roof.of the Highrise.
    Loose cocoons harvested from nesting tunnels can also be placed
    underneath the roof of the Highrise-“the attic”
    Move cocoons towards the back. of the Highrise
    so they dont roll out the exit gap.
    Drop roof over attic in readiness for spring.
  • Solid research blooms into bee business-About Beediverse- Small business

    Click into the link below for a writeup about my business Beediverse.
    http://www.bcjobsandeconomy.gov.bc.ca/2010/10/solid-research-career-blooms-into-bee-business/

  • Emergence box and nests

     

    Dave M.’s emergence box with nests on either side.
    Emerged males are clustered on the outside of the emergence box waiting for females to emerge.

     

     

    Close-up of emerged males on the outside of the emergence box.  Emergence hole of the box is visible below the hook.
    The white clay  spots on the front of the emergence box are the first signs that bees have emerged.  Bees defecate this material as soon as they emerge.

    Dave uses stacked pieces of routered wood as nesting tunnels.  The emergence box removes the problem of predation during emergence.  Photo credits  Dave M.  Port Alberni.

  • Mason bees on Apple flower

    A mason bee on an apple flower.  A great pollinator of spring blossoms 
    when inclement weather is a common occurrance.
    Photo credit- Dave M. Port Alberni, BC.
  • Honey bee and Mason bee on Dandelion Flower

    This is one of my favorite flowers!  Dandelions are a welcome color in the spring and they are a great source of both nectar and pollen for bees and other insects.  

    Most gardeners believe dandelion flowers are a nuisance weed and therefore it has to be removed from their green lawn.  


    If a gardener provides lots of flowers, more bees are in the garden and it generally means better pollination for fruit trees.
    

    

    This honey bee (left hand side) and mason bee are too busy feeding on a dandelion flower to notice
    the photographer Dave M.  Port Alberni, BC.