Yesterday, I decided it was time to let the Mason Bees get warmed up and ready for a busy pollinating season. Out of the fridge they came, and into their newly constructed and installed bee home they slide. Resting inside nesting tubes, it should take several weeks for them to do whatever bees do when they are finished hibernating, by which time, the plum tree should be in full bloom. Let’s hope we don’t have a cold snap.The bees and the nesting cans (coffee cans with cardboard and paper liners) came from Knox Cellars out in Sammamish, though I actually purchased them at one my favorite neighborhood nurseries, the West Seattle Nursery.
The Knox Cellar site is surprisingly uninformative about how to raise Mason Bees and they sounded extremely rushed on the phone when I made an inquiry, but thankfully there is a wealth of information on the web as they are popular to raise in orchards. The Washington State Extension Service has a good set of links, though I’m certainly not planning on raising hundreds of bees here in the Central District.