Plants & Pollination

Keeping Both Mason Bees and Honey Bees
November 15, 2020 · · Plants & Pollination

Many people, especially those with fruit trees to pollinate, want to keep both mason bees and honey bees in the same yard. But is that good for the bees? Will they harm each other or compete for resources? How close is too close?

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Raising Mason Bees: Do’s and Don’ts
September 26, 2020 · · Plants & Pollination

Raising mason bees is as simple as buying or making suitable housing and placing it where it will be discovered by the bees that already live in your area. If you don’t buy mason bees, starting is a bit slower, but the results are worth the wait.

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Growing Early Flowering Plants for Bees
September 10, 2020 · · Plants & Pollination

Add to Favorites For most gardeners, fall is the time to bring in the last of the harvest, preserve and store what you’ve harvested, and put the garden to bed …

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Why Are There Flower Particles on my Bottom Board?

When we see flower parts stuck to bees, it’s usually the pollenia of either milkweeds or orchids. The pollenia are pollen-filled sacks that stick to the pollinator like glue and eventually fall off on another flower. Honey bees are most apt to engage with milkweed pollenia, and sometimes they have so many long and stringy orange sacks hanging from their legs they can barely fly.

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How to Support Your Solitary Bee Population

There are more than 20,000 species of solitary bees. Native to nearly every corner of the globe, they are adapted to a vast diversity of climates and habitats.

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What’s Bothering My Mason Bees?

The parasitic wasp genus Monodontomerus shows up just as the mason bee season is coming to a close. The wasps are very tiny, perhaps fruit fly size, and fly with a nervous, side-to-side pattern that makes them look guilty.

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Will Spraying Dandelions Harm Bees?

My son is thinking of spraying 2,4-D for the dandelions — how safe is it for the bees? All the bees died this winter.

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A List of Plants That Attract Bees

For thousands of years, bees have been helping feed people, but now in the face of an onslaught of chemicals and disease, they’re in need of a helping hand. One course of action you can take is growing plants that attract bees.

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What do Mason Bees Pollinate?

Most Osmia mason bees are generalist pollinators, foraging on a wide variety of plants. As a rule of thumb, Osmia prefer tube-shaped blossoms or flowers with irregular shapes. Some of their favorites are various mints, penstemon, scorpionweed, and willows. They also like legume family plants such as indigo bush, clover, and vetch along with composites such as thistles.

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Exploring the Mason Bee Life Cycle

Often mistaken for flies, mason bees are some of the earliest spring fliers. But the timing of the mason bee life cycle varies with each individual species — and we in North America have an enormous variety.

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