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how far for mud?

 
Jordan Struck
Posts: 65
Location: Oregon (zone 7b), 31.3 inches/yr rainfall
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How far will an Orchard Mason bee travel to collect mud for the nest? I want to know if mud/clay is close enough that they will accept their Mason bee house location.
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Dave, at Crown Bees (crownbees.com) recommends 50 to 100 feet max. The faster she can make the cell the faster she can start the next one.
 
Jordan Struck
Posts: 65
Location: Oregon (zone 7b), 31.3 inches/yr rainfall
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What sorts of mixes/conditions are suitable supplies of mud? My property's soil tends to be more loamy and sandy. I'm concerned if wet soil will be adequate or not? Also, for how long during the season do they need access to the mud for building?
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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"Loamy" and "Sandy" are not what the bees are looking for. They want what Dave calls CLAYEY mud. It needs to have a HIGH percentage of clay for them to be attracted to and be able to use it.
 
Jordan Struck
Posts: 65
Location: Oregon (zone 7b), 31.3 inches/yr rainfall
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Steven Feil wrote:"Loamy" and "Sandy" are not what the bees are looking for. They want what Dave calls CLAYEY mud. It needs to have a HIGH percentage of clay for them to be attracted to and be able to use it.


Maybe a 1000 ft away I have some very clayey areas... Very clayey. I suppose I'll have to shovel some into buckets and bring them over and place the buckets by their house. That should do the trick?
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Yeah, 1000 feet is too far. The clay must be of the correct consistency as well. As I just stated in my reply to your pollination distance post, try crownbees.com for more details.
 
Jordan Struck
Posts: 65
Location: Oregon (zone 7b), 31.3 inches/yr rainfall
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Not that it probably matters, but I measured and it is more like 500 ft away to the clayey mud (not 1000 ft). I have transplanted some very close to them though, should be within 50 ft.
 
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