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Mason bees and late-season plants

Posted by NYCveggieGirl NY (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 4, 11 at 13:29

Hi everybody! This is my first season keeping a garden and I quickly learned that my urban neighborhood has almost no pollinators for my plants. I tried to attract bees and butterflies without much luck, so I ordered some mason bees and a bee house for next year. Here's what I'm wondering: if mason bees hatch in the spring and live 6-8 weeks, then can I not grow any vegetables that require pollinators later in the summer? Is it possible to extend the hibernation cycle of some of the bees by keeping the cocoons cold or something? (Sorry if that's a stupid question, I'm new at this:) Thanks for any ideas or suggestions!

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RE: Mason bees and late-season plants

In my climate, the mason bees are completely done by the first days of June. In my vegetable garden, mason bees are useless. Anything that needs bees isn't blooming by the time the mason bees die. Squashes are all I can think of. Tomatoes and beans self-pollinate without any help. Even the Boysenberries' and Blackberries' blooming seaon barely overlaps with mason bee activity.
You can keep the hibernating bees in the fridge to delay hatching, but the longer you keep them in there, the more will die as their feul runs out. Although I have not experimented with this myself.

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