Garden Club

Getting to know your Mason Bees

This month’s meeting of the Harstine Island Garden Club featured a presentation from Mason County Master Gardener, Mary Dessel on mason bees. The presentation focused on the benefits of how encouraging these native pollinators to take up residence in the garden can improve your plants. There was an overview of the mason bees lifecycle, reproduction, housing needs, threats to their health, and ways to mitigate those adversaries. Below are some photos from the presentation, and links to more resources on the topic of mason bees.

Mason County Master Gardener, Mary Dessel, displaying the different options for mason bee houses.
Mason bee pupation pods, after they have been removed from the bee house tubes or blocks, cleaned, and ready to store in upper chamber when the adult bee emerges. Washing the pupae pods help prevent mites, fungi, and other threats to mason bee health.
Examples of mason bee blocks (top left) and tubes (bottom left) that are used in different types of mason bee houses to lay eggs, foster larvae, and store food for the larvae.
An example of a mason bee house utilizing the block style of egg/larvae housing. When the larvae enter pupation, these blocks are removed, the pupae cleaned, and then transferred to the top chamber with the two holes. The adult bees will exit from these two openings and begin pollinating the fruit trees and garden.

More resources on mason bees:

Resources on this topic from the Timberland Regional Library:

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