Throughout much of our lives, we are taught to fear, even despise bees. In reality, we owe more to the hardworking bee than most of us realize.
The mystery plague known as Colony Collapse Disorder has been in the news for several years now. For reasons still unknown, CCD occurs when the adult worker bee population of a hive disappears, leaving the queen and even honey behind. This has lead to a decided upswing in the number of backyard beekeepers across North America who are enjoying the benefit of increased pollinator activity in their communities, and some tasty honey to boot.
Keeping honey bees isn’t easy. It requires expensive equipment and quite a bit of monitoring and maintenance that can be daunting and even off-putting for a novice. Now before you think I’m warning you against home beekeeping, I should tell you that I intend on introducing a hive into my back garden a little later in the year. That said, I want to tell you about some other bees that get less of a spotlight, but do just as much work pollinating our food crops. What’s more, they’re not susceptible to Colony Collapse Disorder!
Check out those awesome little birdhouses… oh, waitaminute! Those are bee habitats! That’s right, habitats for mason bees, to be exact.
Mason bees are incredibly hard workers, but unlike honey bees, there are over 130 species of mason bees that are native to North America. What’s more, mason bees are homebodies in the strictest sense; they don’t ever travel more than 300 feet from their tiny little home to forage. What does this mean to a home garden?
- It means that when you have a mason bee habitat in your yard or garden, you’re kinda guaranteed to increase the pollinator activity in your yard, whereas honey bees commonly travel 4 miles away from home to seek out food.
- It means that you can increase pollinator activity at home without the expense or potential risk of raising honey bees.
- It means that you can help to alleviate the pressure on the honeybee population by increasing the population of other beneficials, like mason bees.
Added bonus? Mason bees hardly ever sting!
Now you’re probably asking yourself why I am telling you about these awesome bees, and I’m glad you asked. I wanted to let you know about masons because I want to introduce you to my friends at Crown Bees and their incredible effort to protect our endangered food supply.
Save The Bees comes at a critical time, when the foods (even beer) we love are at a higher risk than ever before because the number of pollinators is shrinking too fast to keep up with demand. Take a look at this quick video that explains the campaign far better than I could:
Now I want to ask you to join me in supporting the Save The Bees campaign by becoming a Bee Booster. You can do this by donating outright and by adding mason bees to your own back yard or garden. I am planning a big habitat for my own space and I’ll share the entire process with you here, as well as answer any questions you have about the process or the bees. Don’t worry, if I’m ever stumped, Crown Bees are always ready to give you the answers you need.
There’s also a brand new community that I know you’re going to want to take part in. Check it all out by clicking here, or on the Native Bee Booster logo above.
The bees and our beloved food crops need our help, so let’s do it, ya’ll! If you have any questions at all, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure they get answered quickly.