Mason Bees at the Bulkhead

Chloe Ben­nett, a stu­dent of land­scape archi­tec­ture at UBC joined us at the Bulk­head to share her project Bees Please, a home for Mason bees locat­ed in a round­about at Yew and 6th in Kit­salano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mason Bees are a native pol­li­na­tor to BC. Unlike hon­ey bees they are soli­tary so they don’t live in hives and pro­duce hon­ey. To nest they seek out holes in wood where they can lay their eggs.  Typ­i­cal­ly a Mason Bee would find holes pro­duced by wood­peck­ers, but this form of habi­tat can be cre­at­ed to attract Mason Bees to cer­tain areas for increased pol­li­na­tion.

Chloe sug­gest­ed a vari­ety of ways to pro­duce bee habi­tat. One is to drill into an untreat­ed wood such as fir (but not cedar). The holes need to be a par­tic­u­lar size to ensure that the bees can lay their eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anoth­er approach involves using card­board or bam­boo tubes.  These can be made or ordered from Wild Birds Unlim­it­ed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also order bee cocoons from Wild Birds Unlim­it­ed.  The cocoons are stored in the refrig­er­a­tor until it is time to release them. By open­ing the vial near your nest the bees should remain to pol­li­nate your gar­den.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The need for native pol­li­na­tors is increas­ing. There was much dis­cus­sion about the decline of hon­ey bees at the work­shop. To learn more about this grow­ing eco­log­i­cal con­cern you may want to check out this TED Talk by Api­arist Den­nis vanEn­gels­dorp.

 

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