To successfully raise Mason Bees, you must shadow manage the two seasons, of their life cycles. The time they are active and the time they sleep. When they are active you must provide, ensure, that they have wildflowers or fruit trees, a nest, that will provide shelter from wind and rain, and mud if your pollinators are Mason Bees, and soft leaves like lilac leaves for nest construction.
When they are inactive you must ensure that they have a safe-haven. A place to sleep, to hibernate, in their silk cocoons. And a storage container, that acts as a humidifier with around 60 to 70% humidity, which is maintained between 38-42 degrees F.
Wildflowers, a nest, and mud when active.
A safe box to sleep in.
These are very easy to provide, for well under a hundred dollars, and that includes the Mason Bees.
When you first put Mason Bees in your garden, there is an emotional component, watching them work, pollinating your apples, and pears, bring a feeling of pleasure, that is hard to describe. It is like have a pet.
Over time though you can’t help looking over the fence. You see there is a component, that is bigger than you. A world outside your garden.
We’ve all seen a moth drawn to a single flame. The lights of cities and towns magnify that response in insects, pulling them out of their natural environment, it’s called light pollution. They are migrating to urban environments and need a place to find food and shelter. It’s hard for them to find food in an asphalt parking lot, of a WinCo store. They need sanctuaries; wildflowers, in your yards and gardens. And then there’s Colony Collapse.
What Is “Colony Collapse Disorder” and is there-Hope.
The next few paragraphs deal with a global catastrophe that threatens 1/3 of the world food supply, a brief history of pollination, the honeybee’s role in it, and how you can make a huge difference.
We must have a backup plan. Mason bees and summer Leaf Cutter Bees; are the backup team.
You can skip ahead to the-How to Section. If you need too.
Thanks for doing your part.
THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION.
The winter of 2019 Colony Collapse continued unabated. Colony losses were horrendous. Highest losses since records have been kept.
Honeybees didn’t exist in the Americas before the pilgrim’s arrival. Before 1950 Honeybees were used for honey; not pollination. In the 1950s, we unintentionally whipped out almost all our native bee species.
We were forced to turn to the Honeybee; for pollination. Now the Honeybee is disappearing. This alarming decline of bee populations is causing panic in the agriculture, and food industries.
It’s not just the honeybee.
MASON BEES, NATIVE POLLINATOR, BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES are in Big Trouble, they are on the knife-edge of “Extinction.
Mason Bees have all but been wiped out in most countries in the world. We have only a few Mason Bees left in breeding programs. In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. A study last year showed a 76 percent decrease in native bee populations, over the past decade, in a German nature preserves.
Now birds are in danger. Nearly 3 Billion Birds are Gone Since 1970. All told, the North American bird population is down by 2.9 billion breeding adults,
The extinction of bees and birds is a predictor of our demise. Think global warming is an issue, we need to wake up and smell the wildflowers flowers.
The real message here is that our birds, our pollinators have lost their habitat, where they lived, where they thrived is gone. 94% of America’s natural habitat has been turned into highways, parking lots, wheat fields, corn and soybean crops, forest lands, pasture, and golf courses.
We can’t expect farmers to solve the problem, most of the time they are operating on thin margins. If they stop using; fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides, they will go under, and us with them.
But there is Hope!
We can use American’s Largest Single ‘Crop.’ Our Lawns! In the U.S. there are 180,000,000 million acres of lawns. 900 million homes can be planted with a strip of wildflowers that provides a highway across every city, and every state in North America!
They have already begun this process in Alberta prairies, and it is working.
Pollinator Sanctuaries is simple, innovative, low cost, long-term, sustainable and environment-friendly
We can’t safely raise Honeybees in our back yards, but we can raise Mason Bees and Leaf Cutter Bees, they are our backup plan. We can repopulate North America, with native bees, North America original pollinators.
And Mason Bees and Leaf Cutter bees are more efficient pollinators than the honeybee. A 100 Mason Bees or Leaf Cutter Bees can perform the work of 10,000 Honeybees.
By small things are great thing brought to pass.
We are at the top of the food chain, but if it collapses under us; then what.
How it works
Plant small plots, in your gardens and flower beds, using various combinations of annual and perennial wildflowers, with varying and overlapping flowering periods to increase the bee foraging ability beyond that of a short agricultural season. A continuous and uninterrupted supply of nectar and pollen over the entire spring and summer.
Why Wildflowers, it’s the pollinators’ natural food. Some wildflowers have lots of nectar, some lots of pollen, some high protein pollen, some medicated pollen, the bees will fly were they need too.
Wildflowers are very different from the modern hybrid flowers you have in your yard. Test it yourself. Take a Heritage Rose, and a modern (very lovely) hybrid rose and smell each one. That the difference, the essential oils, the protein content of the pollen, the richness of the nectar.
To the Mason Bees, the butterflies, bumblebees, and 4000 other native pollinators wildflowers are essential; wildflowers are their food and their medicine chest.
Wildflower–rich area is critical to saving, bringing back, mason bees, bumblebees, and butterflies. In a two-year study in England, researchers collected DNA from 2000 bumblebees. They found that the bees’ chance of surviving to the next year increased by up to 400% when they had access to strips of wildflowers.
Once You’ve planted the flowers, now add in your Mason Bees and Leaf Cutter bees.
They will nurture and promote a highly successful wildflower garden that will be attracting rich biodiversity, wild honeybees, native bees (like bumblebees, solitary bees, leaf-cutter bees, and Mason Bees), as well as other friendly pollinators like butterflies.
From each backyard plot, pollinators will spread and expand across North America. If you sow, in due seasons, we will reap.
By small things are great thing brought to pass.
You can outsource your wildflowers and create your mix or you can order a Mix of Wildflowers, Mason Bees, Leaf Cutter bees and nesting supplies from our web site, https://www.rockypondnursery.com/ which is under construction or on our pages on eBay https://www.ebay.com/usr/rockypond-masonbees-lavender or Esty https://www.etsy.com/shop/RockyPondNursery?ref=seller-platform-mcnav
WILDFLOWERS? WHY THE MASON BEE?
Five hundred wildflower seed per packet. Bee-Kind wildflower mix has been specifically blended to bloom early and long, providing food for Mason Bees and newly emerging bumblebee queens. Pollinators need help! If every home had even a small area of wildflowers in their flower beds.
Buy and plant early-blooming wildflowers, your Mason Bees will tend them, and every pollinator will make use of them.
The Mason Bee and summer Leaf Cutter bees are the only native pollinator that we have successfully adapted to help us. With the continuing collapse of the Honey Bees, we must have an alternative, a backup, or we lose 1/3 of the food- in our stores.