10 things about Solitary Bees
- Mason Bees almost never sting.
- Mason Bees do not produce honey, but are vital in the garden as very effective pollinators.
- Bees are responsible for pollinating about 1/3 of our food supply.
- The bee population is declining. This is being blamed on the use of bee-killing pesticides, intensive farming, parasites/pathogens and climate change.
- They are called Mason Bees, because they use mud to build and seal their nests. This makes it very easy to see if the nest is being used.
- It has been discovered that a single Mason Bee can do the pollinating job of approx. 100 honeybees.
- Mason Bees are responsible for pollinating a huge range of flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables The Red Mason Bee (Osmia Rufa) is active in the garden from March to July and is responsible for pollinating top fruit and soft fruit. The Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia Lignaria) is active in the garden from May to September and is an effective pollinator of summer flowers, herbs and vegetables.
- Being able to access the nesting tube / trays means they can be easily removed for annual cleaning / inspection PLUS you can "harvest cocoons" and re-locate them into other areas of the garden or give them to friends.
- The perfect Mason Bee nesting tunnel / tube is 0.8cm diameter and at least 15cm long although they will nest in any dry small hole especially in wood.
- Bee Houses are very effective at building up Mason Bee numbers, because the adults AND their offspring will use the same nest again each year building up the numbers of solitary bees visiting your garden.
We have a great range of Solitary Bee Houses available including freestanding ones, ones which hang on the wall and ones designed to hang in trees. To find out more about our Solitary Bee Houses CLICK HERE