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HOW TO RAISE AND MANAGE ORCHARD MASON BEES THE HOME GARDEN

Stephen Bambara, Extension Entomologist

CARE: This information was created for vermont and may maybe not connect with other areas.

The Orchard Mason Bee may be the typical title of a nonsocial local bee (Osmia lignaria ssp.) that pollinates our springtime fresh fruit trees, plants and vegetables. This gentle, blue-black metallic bee doesn't reside in hives. In general it nests within hollow stems, woodpecker drillings and pest holes present woods or timber. Often there could be thick selections of individual nest holes, however these bees neither link or share nests, nor help supply or protect each other individuals' youthful. In addition, they've been active for only a brief period of the season. They may not be aggressive and another may observe all of them at really close range without concern about being stung, making all of them excellent for improving our yards and landscapes. They add beauty, task and pollination to the plantings. But they don't produce honey.

The female Orchard Mason Bee visits flowers to get pollen because of its youthful. She types a little basketball of pollen and nectar at the back of the nesting tube and lays an egg on the ball. She after that gathers dirt to form a cell partition and repeats the pollen ball-egg laying procedure until she achieves the lips associated with pipe where she caps the end with dirt. Starting the life span cycle in springtime, adult males emerge from tubes very first, but must wait for later appearance of this females in order to mate. This occasion often coincides using the redbud (Cercis) bloom. Females alone, begin founding new nests in holes which will make a-row of 5-10 cells in each nest. Females gather the pollen and nectar and lay eggs. Their quick foraging range is all about 100 yards through the nest. Activity goes on 4-6 days and grownups die. During summertime, larvae develop within the nests, make cocoons, and become brand new adults resting when you look at the cells. Using onset of autumn, the adults become dormant because they enter hibernation. These bees need some cold temperatures before spring being break their particular dormancy.

Nest Block Building

The native eastern species of Orchard Mason Bee will nest in holes drilled in a wooden block. Untreated 4" x 6" lumber works great. Holes could be drilled in the wood on 3/4 inch centers. They should be 4-8" deep (dependant on the scale lumber made use of), smooth, and a 5/16" diameter hole is essential. A smaller sized gap motivates higher creation of male bees which reduces the reproductive potential of this populace. Obstructs are drilled from either face offering shallower or deeper holes. Shallower holes may create more male bees. Cannot drill completely through lumber. Drill the hole to a depth about 1/2 inches from the straight back regarding the block. Connect a roof to present defense against the midday sun and rain. Outdoors surfaces might painted or stained, but do not use timber additives. One hole could be drilled inside back once again to offer a way of dangling the block. Face nesting obstructs as near to your southeast way as you are able to to get early morning sun and affix it firmly such that it will not sway within the wind. It must be positioned about three feet above the ground.

These bees require mud to make cellular partitions, therefore including a dirt offer might helpful if needed. This is often a trench or bathtub located nearby in which dirty earth is maintained throughout the nesting period. The dirt really should not be highly organic or sandy. Clay grounds work nicely.

Never move the obstructs during the weeks of active nesting. Once all nesting activity has stopped, the nesting block is moved to a shelter such a shed or unheated storage. Be mild when moving occupied blocks at the moment of year. This may give the bees added protection from predators and parasites, however allows all of them experience of the winter that they need to break hibernation. If desired, bee emergence is delayed for a short span by refrigerating the block in the springtime and soon you are set when it comes to bees to emerge. Bees will need 3 days to warm-up after refrigeration.

Orchard Bees are often reared in cardboard tubes, hollow reeds, or straws. Cardboard pipes and straws require more defense against weather condition and parasites. Paper straws allow better evaluation and manipulation. Vinyl straws hold moisture and invite mold to build up and are also not recommended. Bees are often bought commercially.

You will be innovative along with your nesting blocks. Obstructs can be made from any form wood. They might be slashed to a fancy form, be a tiny little bit of lifeless tree limb, fence post or scrap of firewood. You can easily differ the diameter regarding the drilled holes to attract various species of tube-nesting bees or nonsocial, beneficial wasps.

To find out more-

  • Griffin, Brian L. 1993. The Orchard Mason Bee. Knox Cellars, Bellingham, WA
  • Phillips, Joel K. and E.C. Klostermeyer. 1978. Nesting behavior of Osmia lignaria propinqua. Jour. Kansas Ent. Soc. 51(1):91-108.
  • Torchio, Phillip. 1991. Use of Osmia lignaria propinqua as a mobile pollinator of orchard plants. Environ. Entomol. 20(2):590-596.
Distributed in furtherance of this Acts of Congress of might 8 and June 30, 1914. Work and system possibilities are offered to any or all men and women no matter race, shade, nationwide origin, sex, age, or impairment. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, New york A&T State University, U.S. division of Agriculture, and regional governing bodies cooperating.


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