Mason Bee Nest
(the dark ended tubes have bee larvae inside)
half of the tubes were split to assess the larvae prior to shipment
the bees were purchased from High Country Gardens in Santa Fe NM
I was distraught last year when spring rolled around and I had virtually no bees in my garden. Whereas a typical spring day would bring hundreds, maybe thousands, of honey bees to the Indian Hawthornes, Russian Sage, and citrus, I observed only a handful last year.
I read that High Country Gardens would sell bee nests, along with the option of purchasing Mason Orchard Bees, I jumped at the opportunity. Patience was required, because I missed the window last year and had to wait until this spring. My package arrived yesterday, and I couldn't wait to open them up this morning and install the nest! To my surprise, one of the bees was hatching when I opened the package, so I placed his tube in the open air next to the nest while I installed it on the fence.
These bees are wonderful pollinators, and because they don't raise honey or live in a colony they are not at all aggressive. Apparently the only way you can risk being stung is to "squeeze" one. I'll try to resist the urge. My bee-charmer (hello Claire) will be so pleased!