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It happens to nearly every beekeeper. You plant an array of flowering plants — from annual poppies to honeysuckle vines to crabapple trees — all tenderly selected to entice your darlings to forage. On the first balmy spring day, you watch your bees missile out of their hive and into the blue, but when you […] Read more
I spent a good portion of last week on a bee trip, this time to the high desert of central Oregon. My bee trips give me an opportunity to meet other beekeepers, photograph native bees in their natural environments, and take a break from my website. Not to mention, they give me scads of things […] Read more
Yesterday I got my first sting of the season. That would not be remarkable except for one detail: the culprit was a mason bee. A mason bee! I have never before been stung by such a creature. I’ve been keeping mason bees for about seven years, and during early spring the area around my patio […] Read more
I begin every bee season with a list of try-its. A try-it is something that seems like a good idea, but it’s something I haven’t actually done. It’s a term I picked up from a long-ago skating coach who used try-its on me when he couldn’t get the results he wanted with standard teaching methods. […] Read more
Nocturnal pollination is something I seldom think about, but this fascinating article by Paul Manning at Poky Ecology describes a host of nighttime pollinators in lowbush blueberry. Really, I had no idea how busy a berry bush in the dark could be. In a series of experiments, researchers found that as much as one-third of […] Read more
Except for natural bamboo tubes, it seems that most commercial tunnels sold for pollinator housing have an inside diameter of about 7 to 8 mm for orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria), 6 mm for blueberry bees (Osmia ribifloris), and 5 mm for both alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachile rotundata) and raspberry bees (Osmia aglaia). I don’t […] Read more