Friday, January 13, 2012

More Mason Bees On The Way!

bee fabric
(so it is sort of fiber-related LOL)

I love bees, especially Mason Orchard bees.  These bees are larger than honey bees, very docile because they do not live in a hive complex (so they don't protect a queen).  Unless you aggressively interfere with them, they are gentle.  They are great pollinators so they are a wonderful asset to the garden.  I became more interested in bees after the colony collapse syndrome several years ago.  I saw a dramatic loss of bees in my own garden.  I worried about it.
So I decided to do what I could to increase my little bee population around here.  Enter the Mason bees.
My first attempt to restore bee activity was just short of a failure, thanks to an attack upon my fence-mounted bee skep by fire ants (ugh).  Last year I hung a bamboo bee skep in a tree and put a water trap above it, so the nasty fire ants would drown before they got to the bee larvae.  It worked, but the bamboo skep didn't fare well over time.  
This year I'm adding a more substantial bee house.  I think it is officially a house, or a condo, don't you?!
I'm ordering more bee larvae to insert into the house.  I know there are bees around because they did use the tubes inside the skep, but I want to be sure I have bees.
The fence skep would work in an area that wasn't plagued with fire ants.  Unfortunately, this did not occur to me until too late.

I got this house here.

bee larvae inside these tubes can be ordered from High Country Gardens 
out of Santa Fe.  A wonderful nursery!

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