Tip: Buying mason bees that are right for your area

magala(8)March 8, 2010

Hi folks, just a tip for the early spring...

A common issue that I see with people getting started with mason bees is that they order some online and then find that the bees fail to thrive in their area.

Without going into too much detail, there are different species of bees that live in different parts of the country, each local population adapted to the local climate. Sometimes they thrive in new climates, sometimes not, but its' best to buy bees as close to home as possible.

This time of year on eBay I am seeing several sellers who are offering mason bees for sale -- some are on the east coast and some are on the west coast, so now is a great time to get some local bees.

Also check your local Craigslist "For Sale>Farm and Garden" section. That's where people in your city would be selling bee cocoons as well.

Winter or early spring is the time of year to buy them, because they can be shipped in cold weather while they are dormant.

Hope that's helpful!

Note on Canada/US transactions . . . it's illegal to ship bees across the border, but you can ship bee houses, so it's worth checking out Canadian bee suppliers to see i fyou like their house designs (or prices) better. Shipping is pretty reasonable.

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In my classes and educational talks,
I don't put a high stress on having to have to purchase bees at all. Build it, and they will come, is my philosophy. Either way, you'll find out whether or not you have anything in your area. If you were to put out a container with cocoons, even if it were attached right next to your bee condo, the chances of them returning are pretty slim. What's more important is to have your condo set up in the best suitable location with a combination of early sun, and not too baking hot at the height of the day, which is when the eggs/larvae can be cooked inside. Try it out some year - put up your condo with no bees vs. a year with bees, and see for yourself.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:26PM
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