Native Bees are Great Pollinators!

Typical mason bee
Mason bee on leaf
Mason bee nesting holes
Females lay their eggs in holes like these.

There’s been a lot of buzz about honeybees in recent years.  People are rightly concerned about the mysterious syndrome that causes colony collapse.  But we should also be concerned about the native bee population.  Did you know that there are 3,999 other species of bees living in the US?  Most of them are called solitary bees, they don’t live in colonies.  They live in nests in the ground or other places. They aren’t social, they are solitary. They are stingless! And mostly you don’t hear about them.  They do a lot of the work of pollination that is required for our crops.  They are also sensitive to the pesticides that are often used in gardens and on crops.

 

There are lots of specialized bees that have evolved to pollinate particular plants.  Many fruit trees have special bees that pollinate them.  There’s a group called orchard bees and the mason bee is one of those.

Some facts about Mason Bees:

Mason Bees might be called a super-pollinator.

It takes 30,000 honey bees to pollinate 1 acre of land.
It takes 400 Mason Bees to pollinate 1 acre of land.
Mason bees are friendly; they rarely sting.
The female Mason Bee visits about 1875 blossoms a day!

You can make a mason bee hotel for your yard.  WOW will make one to place somewhere in Davidson to encourage these great pollinators.

Want to know more? Here are some links.

https://www.wired.com/2015/04/youre-worrying-wrong-bees/

https://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/07/native-bees-in-the-landscape/

https://www.postandcourier.com/features/home_and_garden/creating-nests-for-native-bees/article_5f9030f3-617b-523d-aba4-6ab2583f9888.html

https://www.ourstate.com/tips-bee-friendly-garden-north-carolina/

http://www.hillsboroughgardenclubnc.com/mason-bee/