Talk about claustrophobia. Just looking at this bee gives me the heebie-jeebies. Conventional wisdom says a blue orchard mason bee (Osmia lignaria) likes a 5/16th-inch nesting hole. This hole is smaller, only 1/4 inch, drilled specifically for leafcutters. Apparently, no one in the bee world is reading my mind because the masons are eschewing the […] Read more
Good question. If you are keeping mason bees in cold storage—whether in a garage, shed, or refrigerator—it is time to get them outside. Although conditions differ with latitude, nature tells us when the time is right. As a rule of thumb, when things begin to bloom, the mason bees should be free to emerge. The […] Read more
I was scanning my news feed yesterday when I saw an interesting headline, “The Most Fascinating Facts About Mason Bees.” I eagerly clicked on the link, thinking I might learn something. Just below the headline of the article was a gorgeous photo of a big fat bumble bee. Okay, I’m willing to play along. Maybe […] Read more
The conventional wisdom about nesting blocks is that you take a 5/16-inch bit and drill holes that are roughly 5-10 inches long. This will attract orchard mason bees, which is typically what people are trying to do with nesting blocks. But recently my whole attitude toward these blocks was changed by Michael Burgett, Emeritus Professor […] Read more
I try to remain vigilant for mason bee mites and I use recommended control measures for limiting their impact on the few mason bees I have. But earlier this year I saw my first really bad case of hairy-footed mites on the backs of two newly-emerged mason bees. The bees in question emerged not from […] Read more
No Vacancy at the mason bee condo It took them awhile, but the entire condo is filled–as well as the tubes they hatched from. A job well done. I will miss these little bees who are around for such a very short time.