Mason bees pollinate more effectively than honey bees. Keeping mason bees is a simple and risk-free way to provide pollinators for your plants. Mason bees are also not particularly aggressive, stinging only when touched or in distress. The sting of a mason bee is not painful, and its stingers are not barbed. This article will teach you how to attract mason bees and maintain a strong and healthy mason bee colony.
About Mason bees?
Mason bees are related to honey bees but do not produce honey. Mason bees acquire their name from their habit of building their nests out of mud that looks like bricks. They are an excellent substitute for raising honey bees. There are over 200 mason bee species found in diverse distributions around the world.
Mason bees are excellent pollinators that are also simple to keep. Beginning mason beekeeping requires beekeepers to understand how to attract mason bees, which we will cover in this post. You could also purchase a mason bee beginning population.
How to attract Mason bees?
In attracting mason bees, you will need to bear the following in mind: Housing, location, plants, the presence of pests, predators and diseases and a mud source
The positioning of your mason bee house is critical. Mason bees will rapidly flock to a favorable area. A good position is one where water cannot enter the mason bee nest. It should also allow sunshine to enter the nest at times, particularly in the mornings. In the winter, the placement of your nest should not be too windy or chilly.
Mason bees reside in structures known as nests. Mason bees are easy to attract and keep if you have a suitable nest and appropriate feeding options. You can build your own nest or buy a ready-made mason bee house. Once the nest is complete, it must be placed in a safe and warm location. The house should be 4 to 7 feet above the ground.
Plants that are good for bees
You can keep a few flowery plants around your mason bees. This is best done using wild flowers. The flowers give pollen and nectar for the mason bees’ nutritional needs. Before spinning a cocoon and maturing into an adult, newly hatched larvae require nectar and pollen for nutrition.
A mud source
Another substance that can be used to attract mason bees is mud. It is utilized by bees to build their nests and cells. You may give an open area of damp mud near the nesting spot for the mason bees. With this resource handy, your mason bees will be able to build their nests more quickly once they have settled in. You can improve the quality of your mason bee mud source by using some mud mix. The mud mixture is easily obtained from beekeeping supply stores.
Pests, predators and diseases
You have the option of elevating your mason bee house. Elevation keeps predators away from the nest. Some mason bee predators may consume both brood and adult bees. The other major threat to mason bee numbers is disease and pests. Keeping mason bees necessitates inspecting the nest to detect pests and diseases early on. Some mason bee pests can be addressed by washing cocoons and cleaning the mason bee housing on a regular basis.
How to raise Mason Bees?
Mason bees can be raised by both farmers and beekeepers. You should be prepared to read a lot about mason bees if you want to learn how to raise them. It should be noted, however, that mason bees are not the same as honey bees.
Purchase only high-quality equipment while raising mason bees. This includes the mason bee house that you select. A healthy mason bee nest will be produced by a high-quality housing. Mason beekeeping may not necessitate the use of hefty beekeeping suits. When working with mason bees, a face veil is often sufficient protection.
Keeping mason bees necessitates nest management as well as dealing with pests and diseases on a regular basis. Mason bee pests attack the larvae and pupa. They may cause harm to the larvae or hinder the pupae from maturing into adults. Beekeepers utilize a variety of strategies to rid their nests of diseases and pests that affect mason bees.
Beekeepers can build a mason bee house and then wait for the mason bees to inhabit it spontaneously. Those that need to move faster can buy a beginning mason bee colony. When you have a house ready to accommodate mason bee cocoons, buy them. High temperatures are also harmful to mason bees, but these are uncommon in a natural and well-aerated mason bee house environment.
Raising mason bees requires only approximately 2 hours of your time per year. It takes less than a half hour to set up a nesting house. Cocoon harvesting for mason beekeepers that are interested takes no more than 45 minutes.
Mason Bees food.
Mason bees feed on pollen and nectar found in plants. When the egg hatches, the larvae consume all of the pollen and nectar in their cell before spinning a cocoon to reach the pupa stage.
Mason bees require suitable foraging grounds, which beekeepers should supply. This entails cultivating blooms that are favorable to mason bees as foraging plants. Flowers with a single row of petals are ideal for mason bees. Asters, composite, poppies, black-eyed Susans, and alyssum are examples of such flowers.
Plant the flowers in a large portion to get the most out of supplying foraging plants for mason bees. Flowers that bloom in clusters stimulate foraging. In one location, you might have a variety of plants planted together. You could also have a clump of only one type of plant.
Where do Mason Bees live?
Mason bees dwell in what are known as mason nests or mason bee houses. They use mud as bricks to construct their nest. Mason bee houses are manufactured and marketed commercially. There are several types of mason bee houses to choose from. Bamboo, wood, and paper are popular foundation materials for mason bee buildings.
Mason bees are solitary bees, but they build nests near each other. A single nest may have thousands of mason bees living in it. Mason bees can be found all throughout the world, mostly in temperate climates. From spring until late summer, they are busy and easily visible. Mason bees have a one-year life cycle after which they die. The cycle begins with the egg stage and progresses through the larva and pupa phases.
Keeping mason bees is a fun and beneficial hobby. It is doable for both expert and inexperienced beekeepers. Mason bees are beneficial to your plants and home garden. To maintain a healthy mason bee colony, use the information and techniques in this article on how to attract mason bees. It will save you time and labor expenditures.