- This event has passed.
Getting Started with Mason Bees
Thursday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.Free
Have you ever wanted to raise native mason bees in your community garden, backyard, or apartment balcony, or tried to attract mason bees before with little success? Join the library’s resident mason bee expert, Taren Urquhart, for a 90-minute interactive lecture to learn everything you need to know to entice mason bees to your garden this spring.
- Lifecycle of the mason bee
- Best practices for attracting mason bees to your yard
- How to choose or construct your own bee house
- Seasonal responsibilities as a mason bee keeper
After attending this lecture, participants will be eligible to borrow a WVML Mason Bee Bungalow. The bungalow is the perfect starter home for anyone looking to experiment and learn more about these fascinating bees. Each home has 10 to 15 live, dormant mason bee cocoons from the library’s Bee Hotel (located on Swáy̓wi Temíxw rooftop garden) to help establish your first bee colony. Registrants who do not require a bee house are eligible to take home bee cocoons if stock remains.
Typical questions you might have before registering for this program:
- What is a mason bee, and where do they live?
The mason bee (aka Blue Orchard Mason Bee) is a solitary species of bee native to North America. It is an early pollinator of early-blooming fruit trees, shrubs, and flowers.
- What do mason bees look like?
They are small and solid black or bluish-black. They look somewhat like a housefly.
- Do mason bees sting? Do they make honey?
Mason bees do not sting and are very gentle, thus making them a pleasure to attract around children and pets. There are no bees native to North America that make honey.
- Will a mason bee house attract any other stinging insects to my property?
No, only the female solitary mason bee is attracted to the drilled holes or tubes of a mason bee home. Stinging insects, such as hornets and wasps, are only interested in larger cavity spaces where they can raise many offspring in a social colony with a queen at its center.
- Why should I attract bees to my backyard?
Many of our native bees and non-native honeybee populations are in decline due to a changing climate and pesticides, providing a sustainable habitat for these important pollinators.
- Can I raise mason bees if I live in an apartment?
If you have seen bees attracted to flowers on your balcony before, you are a great candidate to try experimenting with mason bees. We have conducted several experiments in our local area and found the following attributes are important: balcony should face south if possible, no higher than the third floor, and provide early blooming flowers (food source) alongside your bee house.
Please email Taren Urquhart directly with the questions/concerns that you do not see listed above or will not be covered in the lecture topics: email@example.com.
Visit our curated list of mason bee resources on our website here.