Why Mason Bees
There are many reasons to have bees in your backyard, there are even more reasons to have mason bees. Mason bees cost far less in equipment and are certainly easier to handle than honey bees. Along with their reputation of being one of the best pollinators in the world, the Blue Orchard Bee is also known as the “gentle bee”. The public is becoming more aware of this little bee just in time to help with the pollination crisis. The backyard beekeeper is becoming important.
So now you want your bees. You’ve done the research, read online information (maybe taken a class) and you are ready to go. Your bees can be bought online or from your local nursery or home and garden store. Compared to getting set up with honey bees, your cost will be minimal, but it will still run you about $30-40 for a small setup. Still very reasonable for all the enjoyment these little guys give. You will need to manage them through the year and if you are a responsible beekeeper this means refrigerated storage at the proper temperature and humidity. You own your bees and equipment. The following spring it will be your job to put them out at the proper time and start the process all over again.
Our family started working with bees in the 1980s, and specifically the mason bees in the past 9 years. What we have personally experienced is a huge increase in our berries and fruit, and hours of fascination watching what they do. We can stand in front of the bee box within a foot and they don’t bother us…they are too busy doing what they need to do. They require very little while they are flying and are gone by June. The perfect pet.
Remember, Honey bees make honey, Mason Bees make food.
NOTE: Bees are for sale at dealer sites from Portland, Oregon to Centralia, Washington. It is less stressful for your bees to be local to your area.