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Mason bees

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Mason bees - Page 3 Empty Re: Mason bees

Post  camprn on 5/18/2017, 10:22 am

@SwampTroll wrote:I've got a question that I'm hoping the folks in here can help me with.

I'm not looking to set up a hive per say, but I am looking at perhaps getting a beehouse or two so that the solitary bees can have someplace to crash.  The issue I have is that the bees I see around my place are closer to hummingbirds in size and all the beehouses I've seen around here are for things the size of flying ants.

Are the big bumblebee looking bees not solitary and as such don't need beehouses?  If they are, where can I find a house that'll actually fit them?

Hi there Swamp Troll. I've moved your post to a thread that may answer some of your questions. There are more threads about bees and other helpful critters that you may find by using the search feature.

Have a great day!

~ Camp

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 5/18/2017, 11:29 am

@SwampTroll wrote:I've got a question that I'm hoping the folks in here can help me with.

I'm not looking to set up a hive per say, but I am looking at perhaps getting a beehouse or two so that the solitary bees can have someplace to crash.  The issue I have is that the bees I see around my place are closer to hummingbirds in size and all the beehouses I've seen around here are for things the size of flying ants.

Are the big bumblebee looking bees not solitary and as such don't need beehouses?  If they are, where can I find a house that'll actually fit them?
The huge bees are likely carpenter bees. Most people don't like to attract them because they can damage wood structures, like parts of houses. They are mostly solitary (sometimes they live in a very small group), but/and there can be more than one nest/hole per piece of wood if it's long enough. If you wanted to provide them with a nesting site, find somewhere you can place a log or thick piece of wood (over 2" diameter), not pressure treated, cheap pine is fine, at least 3ft above the ground - and probably somewhere where people won't usually be walking right near. The bees aren't exactly aggressive - they are very unlikely to sting unless you grab or hit one - but they will thoroughly investigate anything that invades their 'airspace' and most people don't like a giant bee hovering right in their face. The ones with a white 'nose' are the males, and they can't sting at all. Drill a starter hole about 1/2" diameter about 1/2" deep, against/through the grain of the wood to get a tunnel started, and a carpenter bee will chew it deeper and in the direction(s) she feels are suitable. Not sure when the bees chose nest sites - you might not get any takers until next year.

The beehouses for 'flying ant' sized bees are also for solitary bees, but for types that are okay with having close neighbors. The beehouses are intended to provide nesting tubes/holes. I like honeybees and bumbles, but the smaller native bees actually do a really good job of pollinating a lot of my vegetables. The honeybees haven't made an appearance in my garden yet this year. I think the neighbors hives failed. I'm glad to see that the little bees (I don't know what kind) have finally shown up to help pollinate my collard plants so I can get some seeds for next year.
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Post  camprn on 5/18/2017, 11:32 am

try bugguide.net

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Post  SwampTroll on 5/18/2017, 11:50 am

Thank you.

Based on what I've seen and the pictures I've seen, these just look like big bumblebees.

I wonder if I could get the wildflower garden built this year.  thinking
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Post  camprn on 5/18/2017, 11:59 am


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https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 5/18/2017, 1:17 pm

@SwampTroll wrote:Thank you.

Based on what I've seen and the pictures I've seen, these just look like big bumblebees.

I wonder if I could get the wildflower garden built this year.  thinking
Carpenter bees do look similar to bumblebees.  You're in luck - I seem to have a photo of both on the same flower so you can compare. The upper is the bumble. The lower is the carpenter.  Mason bees - Page 3 Img_7010
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Post  SwampTroll on 5/18/2017, 1:44 pm

That is an awesome picture. 

What I'm seeing is definitely not carpenter bees.  While they may not be Bumbles, it's definitely not the smooth abdomen carpenter bees.

Guess I'll need to bust out the camera and see if I can get some close ups.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/18/2017, 7:13 pm

@SwampTroll wrote:That is an awesome picture. 

What I'm seeing is definitely not carpenter bees.  While they may not be Bumbles, it's definitely not the smooth abdomen carpenter bees.

Guess I'll need to bust out the camera and see if I can get some close ups.
Are they fuzzy at all?

Yes, that is an awesome picture, Beetles!
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Post  SwampTroll on 5/19/2017, 7:22 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
Are they fuzzy at all?

Yes, that is an awesome picture, Beetles!

They're pretty much flying striped fuzzballs.  Thankfully they seem to be quite forgiving this time of year.  Here's hoping they find my newly planted (and flowering) blueberries without any issues.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/19/2017, 8:02 pm

@SwampTroll wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:
Are they fuzzy at all?

Yes, that is an awesome picture, Beetles!

They're pretty much flying striped fuzzballs.  Thankfully they seem to be quite forgiving this time of year.  Here's hoping they find my newly planted (and flowering) blueberries without any issues.
They will!  bounce
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Post  trolleydriver on 3/28/2018, 5:41 pm

Look what I picked up at Costco Canada today.

Mason bees - Page 3 Img_2107
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Post  has55 on 3/28/2018, 5:43 pm

I'm right behind you. the cost has gone down.Smile
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Post  sanderson on 3/30/2018, 3:15 am

I was just thinking about Mason bees. Now I'm inspired to assign a new wood project for husband! Wink

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/30/2018, 7:33 am

I had either them or bumbles all OVER my blueberries yesterday afternoon! Couldn't get close enough to get a good look....
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Post  trolleydriver on 3/30/2018, 8:35 am

@sanderson wrote:I was just thinking about Mason bees.  Now I'm inspired to assign a new wood project for husband! Wink
Don't tell him it was my post that inspired you.
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Post  sanderson on 3/30/2018, 1:47 pm

Ha! "Ken, TD posted the neatest idea . . . "

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Post  has55 on 3/30/2018, 2:26 pm

@sanderson wrote:Ha!  "Ken, TD posted the neatest idea . . . "
rofl
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Post  trolleydriver on 3/30/2018, 2:27 pm

@has55 wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Ha!  "Ken, TD posted the neatest idea . . . "
rofl
+1
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/30/2018, 3:49 pm

+2, lol!
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/6/2018, 10:03 pm

@sanderson wrote:I was just thinking about Mason bees.  Now I'm inspired to assign a new wood project for husband! Wink

For your Honey Do list, eh?   Here is a simple Solitary Bee House I built out of a piece of limb I saved from a tree that was being cut down.  Note the different size holes so that it host multiple types of solitary bees, not just Mason Bees - the holes are between 4-10mm.  I then hung it on a fence post with the holes facing south.


Mason bees - Page 3 Bee_ho12
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Post  sanderson on 8/7/2018, 11:55 pm

Very Happy

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/8/2018, 5:24 pm

I love that, and I could do it!  Although I don’t have a 10mm drill bit.
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/29/2018, 8:17 am

This is a copy of a post from another thread that was suggested I add here:

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Also, under pollination also happens from un-thinned squash.  The bees etc. just cannot find the blooms.  They need good circulation!

Excellent point!  I tend to forget about that since I have so many Mason bees in the gardens to pollinate the plants - they are so much better at pollinating than domestic honey bees, because they are smaller and not affected by the weather like honey bees are.  I have several solitary bee houses hanging around to provide nests for them, such as this one:

Mason bees - Page 3 Bee_ho13


On the next to the bottom boards you can see open Mason Bee nest holes
Mason bees - Page 3 Bee_ho14


The Leafcutters built in some of these holes
Mason bees - Page 3 Bee_ho15

And the bees love the Squash blooms!
Mason bees - Page 3 Squash11

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Post  sanderson on 8/29/2018, 8:56 pm

Thank you for posting! hiddenID

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Post  OhioGardener on 8/29/2018, 9:29 pm

Mason bees - Page 3 3759993749

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