They were so shy. Most occur in temperate habitats within the Palearctic and Neartic zones, and are active from spring through late summer. Pandemic makes Washington voters political in a new way. By subscribing, you agree to receive occasional membership emails from Crosscut/Cascade Public Media. Regardless of dictionaries, we have in entomology a rule for insect common names that can be followed. Most gardeners and farmers are aware of the honey bee’s plight. Check with your doctor first.” Ha! If you want to raise mason bees, put up mason bee housing and be patient. Colony collapse disorder, though, has decimated their numbers, forcing growers to turn to other pollinators for solutions. , Historically, the term mason bee has also been used to refer to bees from a number of other genera under Megachilidae such as Chalicodoma, most notably in "The Mason-Bees" by Jean-Henri Fabre and his translator Alexander Teixeira de Mattos in 1914. In short, plants react more quickly to temperature changes than bees. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mason_bee&oldid=964792709, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 June 2020, at 16:30. A few years ago I wrote up some observations on housing: The second myth has to do with stings. I live in northern NY state and daytime temps are getting into the 40’s. What’s the best diameter?  They have arolia between their claws, unlike Megachile or Anthidium species.
If you have thousands of mason bees, you must control diseases and parasites. Depending on the species, they can be pretty open to new ideas. To those I will add another: leave the bees where they are.
If they are not native to your own backyard, they are not really native. I wrote a post ages ago about climate change, glacier lilies, and bumble bees that may shed some light on your climate change question. Starting out your mason bee project with non-local genetics and introducing some enemies of bees is a step in the wrong direction. They are fun to watch, easy to raise, and they are excellent spring pollinators. And yes Rusty (sorry) I even cringe at your packed bundle of skinny paper straws. May I add a seventh myth, what I will call the honeycomb myth or the uniformity myth. I’ve also heard that bamboo harbors mites. People who choose to get mason bees because they are allergic to honey bee stings should be wary. I thought both are sucrose which is ok to feed bees. Although they make an excellent addition to honey bees, they will never be able to replace them. Cleaning and bleaching of mason bee cocoons is not something that happens in nature. Do I need to take the straws with dormant bees out of the cans and put them somewhere in the winter where they won’t freeze (i.e. The males soon die, and within a few days the females begin provisioning their nests. The material used for the cell can be clay, mud, grit, or chewed plant tissue. After 3 years, there is activity in my mason bee house that I had purchased at a big box store. Your way of looking at their needs is different from their way of looking at them. I didn’t notice any activity around them, but recently I noticed that many of the “straws” were filled.
Before I get to the myths, let’s clarify what bees we’re talking about. Nevertheless, they alone cannot save the world, in spite of what anyone tells you. Wherever you find beekeepers you are likely to discover plenty of misinformation, fodder for the old joke about ten beekeepers having a dozen answers. Over 300 species are found across the Northern Hemisphere. It’s funny that you mention Oregon grape. When I opened up the bee house I could see where cocoons were started, at least the mud was there, but there were no cocoons. Yes. Male mason bees are not aggressive and wont sting because they do not have queen to guide and protect. Also, research indicates that failure of purchased mason bees can result because of the genetic bottleneck that happens when purchasing so few individuals, as a backyard ‘keeper’ would do. Honey and bumble bees are social. They have evolved over millions of years, much longer than humans and certainly longer than refrigerators, and I believe that natural conditions produce the best outcome.
I take my tubes (or the whole condo) inside as soon as they start slowing down and store them in an area protected from predators. —From Anatomy of the Honey Bee by Robert E. Snodgrass. Thus we have such names as house fly, blow fly, and robber fly contrasted with dragonfly, caddicefly, and butterfly, because the latter are not flies, just as an aphislion is not a lion and a silverfish is not a fish.
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