We’ve been trying to encourage pollinators around our property with flowers and native plants. There’s only so many times you can pollinate your own apple trees before saying, “We’ve got to get us some more bees around here.”
According to Wikipedia, the Mason bee is named for its habit of making compartments of mud in their nests which are laid in hollow reeds or holes bored by other insects. They are supposed to only sting if squeezed or stomped upon and be a pretty gentle species.
Unlike the crazy aggressive ground bees we had to get rid of two summers ago. They were so bad we actually stooped to pouring gasoline into the hole in the ground. They were BAD. They would also latch on and sting a bunch of times. Poor Kismet snuffled the nest one day and got a snoot full of the horrible creatures. I had to remove a few of them with tweezers.
The Mason is also supposed to be non-destructive. Unlike the Carpenter Bees that have taken residence up in our house. We’re having a screen installed next weekend to keep those buggers out.
|One of these bees is a good polinator, one drills f'ing holes in my house.|
So when we say we’re trying to encourage pollinators, I guess I mean that we’re trying to curate the right kind of pollinators. The ones that won’t chase us and sting the crap out of anyone, or won’t bore holes in my house. Sort of the gardening version of transitional neighborhoods.
Plans can be found all over the internet, but really just grab a 4 inch deep block of wood and drill some holes in it. Add a roof if you’re fancy. Put it up in a tree about three feet off the ground and wait for the bees to find it. (You can also buy them, if drilling holes isn’t your thing, just google it.)
Next project is a bat house. And by house, I mean exceptionally large apartment complex. Someone needs to help us with our mosquito problem.