I recently had the privileged to attend a workshop on the topic of Blue Orchard Mason Bees including tips on breeding and caring for your bees. Rose and Jim McCulley of J&R Farms outside of Nanaimo put on a wonderful workshop with a terrific presentation from Rose.
Did you know that it takes more than three hundred and sixty honeybees to do the exact same job that can be done by just thirty Mason Bees?
Mason Bees are built to be nature’s ultimate pollinators. They have much more hair that starts at about their chin and continues down to their abdomen. The patch of hair works the same way as a sponge with water, soaking up and absorbing pollen. The mason bees also have longer antennas that are used to retrieve pollen from very tight and narrow places.
I would encourage anyone with any type of fruit trees, blossoming plants or flowering trees on their property to either build or pick up a Mason Bee house and get it out there now. To guarantee that your house will be immediately occupied it is recommended to make a one time purchase of Mason Bee cocoons. If properly cared for you will never have to make another purchase and you can become a Mason Bee breeder for many years to come.
A true naturescape or backyard / urban wildlife habitat is not fully complete without the unbelievable benefits that are associated with the presence of the Blue Orchard Mason Bee.
On a final note, Yes… Mason Bees can sting but their sing is as mild as a mosquito and a bee will only be driven to sting if they some how become lodged or stuck between a layer of clothing and your skin.
If you would like to purchase Mason Bee cocoons, houses or tubes and liners please contact Jim and Rose McCulley at 250-754-8351.