If you raise any kind of crops or flowers, know anyone who does, or just want to help protect declining bee populations, this is a fun project for you! Orchard mason bees pollinate a lot of plants that honeybees don’t. They’re great pollinators, hard working, and could definitely use a place to live!
Orchard mason bees, much like their non-Africanized honeybee cousins, are docile and only sting when severely provoked. So you don’t have to worry about them getting after you unless you’re really messing around with them and making them agitated.
Unlike honeybees, orchard mason bees don’t live in large hives. Instead, females burrow into long, narrow tunnels where they build their nests and lay their eggs. A single bee visits up to 75 flowers every time it goes out. The female leaves behind a provision of food, so when the egg hatches, the larva has something to eat and can grow into a full sized mason bee.
In its lifetime, a female orchard mason bee will pollinate 60,000 flowers. Talk about a busy bee!
Enjoy this fun project.