• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Buying mason bees

 
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
118
goat duck trees books chicken bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm thinking I want to add some mason bees to our pollinator mix. We have a good number of summer natives, but we didn't get great pollination even with our honey bees last year and our hives did not do well over the winter.

Where are you getting them?
 
Posts: 10
Location: Adams County, Ohio, zone 6a
1
forest garden fungi books
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last spring I built a very simple mason bee hive by wiring a bundle of 8" bamboo tubes together and hung it under the eave of the shed near my garden, by the end of the summer 75% of the tubes had been filled by native mason bees.
 
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
347
hugelkultur dog forest garden fish hunting trees books food preservation solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know mason bees are great pollinators BUT they are drilling holes in our house, our barn, I even got my newspaper out of the box one morning to find one had drilled up from the hole in the bottom of the box and halfway through my paper. How do we peacefully coexist?
 
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://crownbees.com/
by far the most knowledgeable source for mason bees that i know of. he has been on some of wheatons videos too

we order some from them as well as ordered a mason bee house. : http://crownbees.com/shop/nesting-material/large-wood-trays
we think we have a mason bee hotel full of cocoons, but i havent check yet.
we also got some tubes that we can insert into homemade mason bees houses : http://crownbees.com/shop/nesting-material/guard-tubes-and-inserts

you may also look into leafcutter bees. we have seen a good amount of them active here in our summer - there seems to be WAY more to eat for them compared to mason bees (though admittedly, we dont have a orchard -yet)
http://crownbees.com/shop/bees/leafcutter-bees-leafguardian
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Karen Layne wrote:How do we peacefully coexist?


build them some homes!

they are trying to help - they are asking for shelter in return for their work
 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
347
hugelkultur dog forest garden fish hunting trees books food preservation solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm thinking that they want me to vacate so they can move in. I can just picture them sitting on the couch with their feet up, drinking sweet tea.
Here we call them wood borers or carpenter bees. They are the same as Masons, right?
 
Elijah Bowman
Posts: 10
Location: Adams County, Ohio, zone 6a
1
forest garden fungi books
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Karen Layne wrote:I'm thinking that they want me to vacate so they can move in. I can just picture them sitting on the couch with their feet up, drinking sweet tea.
Here we call them wood borers or carpenter bees. They are the same as Masons, right?



Im no expert but carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) drill holes, while mason bees (Osmia spp.) require holes drilled by other wood boring insects for their nest sites.
 
Posts: 100
Location: Denver, Co 6000ft bentonite clay soil
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was under the impression that mason bees are really only active in the spring. Don't they lay eggs and then die in late spring?
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jessica Padgham wrote:I was under the impression that mason bees are really only active in the spring. Don't they lay eggs and then die in late spring?



for the most part yes, they are only around for spring.
the bees are only alive for ~ 6 weeks and leave ~10 egga (larva?) behind that will overwinter and hatch out next spring.

i have heard they can pollinate at a rate of 1 mason bee to 200 honey bees. its partly because of how mason bees vs honey bees collect pollen

once the mason bees go away, the leaf cutter bees (also a solitary bee) come out.

you can simply put out some tubes and you may be surprised to see that mason bees (or other solitary bees) are around - they just needed a place to live.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
347
hugelkultur dog forest garden fish hunting trees books food preservation solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From Wikipedia:

"However, when weighed against the benefits X. virginica has as pollinators, the costs of X. virginica's destructive behavior are insignificant. X. virginica offer benefits in the form of pollination for fruits, vegetables, legumes, and flower crops. Although the pollination strengths of X. virginica are secondary to that of the bumble and honey bees, the contribution is great enough to overlook destructive tendencies."

It seems I have Eastern Carpenter Bees. Good pollinators BUT that part about the cost of their destructive behavior being insignificant, they don't know what I spent in rafters.
 
Posts: 18
Location: NW WA
hugelkultur books chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jessica Padgham wrote:I was under the impression that mason bees are really only active in the spring. Don't they lay eggs and then die in late spring?


There are different kinds of mason bees that "hatch" at different times of the year.
So one kind of mason bee will be out from April-May while another variety comes out for June-July ect.
 
Posts: 50
Location: Tonasket, WA
3
fungi trees chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another good source for supplies and really great information is Dr. Magritte Dogterom's page: beediverse.com
She has been studying mason bees and their cousins for many years, I have found her site to be a wealth of information!
 
Posts: 42
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I know mason bees are great pollinators BUT they are drilling holes in our house, our barn, I even got my newspaper out of the box one morning to find one had drilled up from the hole in the bottom of the box and halfway through my paper. How do we peacefully coexist?




Someone probably already answered your question but carpenter bees are not the same as mason bees.  Carpenter bees drill holes in everything  (my house too)but mason bees only live in existing holes and pack then with mud. Carpenter bees are also pretty large. ....like bumble bees.
 
When people don’t understand what you are doing they call you crazy. But this tiny ad just doesn't care:
Dairy Farming: The Beautiful Way by Adam Klaus
https://permies.com/wiki/43161/Dairy-Farming-Beautiful-Adam-Klaus
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!