Mason Bees and their Importance in Nature

What is a Mason Bee?

Osmia lignaria, commonly known as the mason bee, is a megachilid bee that makes nests in reeds and natural holes, creating individual cells for their brood that are separated by mud dividers. This bees pollenates early spring fruit bloom in Canada and the United States.

Orchard Mason Bee

Why are Mason Bees so important?

Pollination is the main reason we want Mason Bees in our yards and city. Mason Bees are hard working pollinators and pollinate early.

Why is pollination so important?

Pollination is the sexual reproductive process known as fertilization, that plants need to develop fruit and seeds.  The pollen grains are the male part of the plant and need to be transfered from one flower to another.  This is where pollinators come into play. Without proper pollination, you don’t get fruit and seeds from plants.

Why not Honey Bees?

A lot of people like honey but a honey bee hive can be added work. If you want to take on the responsibility of an inner city bee hive for honey then by all means, go for it. More honey is good! But another reason is something called Colony Collapse Disorder, a problem honey bee keepers are facing all over the world. Honey bees are just dying. This doesn’t seem to affect the Orchard Mason Bee.

Do Mason Bees sting?

Mason bees are even more docile than the honey bee. They will only sting if they are in perceived danger and will never swarm or attack. This is another reason Mason Bees are such a perfect pollinator for our yards, especially yards with small children.

How do I encourage Mason Bees in my garden?

Make or buy a bee house. They are simple to make. Mason bees enjoy burrowing into tiny holes that occur either naturally in wood or reeds. If looked after properly, you’ll find that the mason bee population just keeps growing and growing. The bees will create cocoons in the burrowing holes and hibernate there over winter, only to emerge in the spring when needed.

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