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How do you get mason bees?

 
Aaron Festa
Posts: 149
Location: Connecticut
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After reading some of the honeybee forum it seems most get their honeybees thru swarm traps, a nuc from local beekeeper or ordering online. But what about mason bees? I'm hoping its something simple like " if you built they will come". But I'm guessing it's not.
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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If there are mason bees in your vicinity, then they may colonize the nesting tubes you provide. You can actually buy attractant to lure mason bees.
Otherwise, you can buy cocoons in garden stores or online; or try and get a few cocoons from somebody that already has bees. Since they multiply every year, folks usually have more cocoons than they need.
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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check out Crown Bees online. I just ordered some bees, an attractant, and a bee home. Not the cheapest, but pretty guaranteed results, I hope.

good luck!
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Just make sure to order bees that are adapted to your climate zone. Crown Bees carries several different varieties.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Hi Aaron, Are you sure you do not already have them? Wild ones I mean.

Do you have any flowers blooming in your area yet?

If so go and sit a while and see what shows up.

I was in Texas recently and saw all sorts of bees, which looked like small blue flies.
 
Aaron Festa
Posts: 149
Location: Connecticut
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Miles nothing blooming in CT. It's still winter here or so it seems. I have a small garden that will be expanding and I'm bringing in lots of fruit and nut trees. I'm interested in getting the bees to take permanent residence in my yard. I think I'm going to try the attractant approach that Patrick suggested. The hives seem easy enough to build. Thanks all
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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There are lots more wild bees than just the commonly known Mason Bee and Leaf Cutter bee. Thousands of different species in fact. So if you are just interested in maximizing pollination, your best bet is to plant a variety of pollinator attracting plants and make sure there is habitat (soil that is not disturbed, dead plants and trees).
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 47
Location: Central Maine
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Here is a project I have been working on:
http://nepermhome.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/bug-hotels-mason-bees/
By providing tubes for the bees to nest in, it halps to attract them to your garden.
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I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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