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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,021

    Default The Orchard Mason Bee (book)

    My wife snagged this book at Half-Price books and I have greatly enjoyed it. I got it too late to put out nest blocks, but given that I have a strict "No killing the mason bees" rule and that I have hundreds in the siding of my house, I'll probably be ok to catch some more next year. The author, while obviously a fan of Mason bees, is quite clear on where Mason bees excel and where Honeybees win on sheer numbers. While he does sell nesting blocks & such the book is repleat with simple statements that there's no need to buy - you can build something they'll use just as well. Covers a number of relatives of the mason bee as well. Next year I'm going to hang out a bee block and acquire some masons.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    592

    Default

    I rear thousands of Osmia Lignaria and Osmia Cornifrons each spring. While it is true that you can make your own blocks for them to nest in, you must be careful to drill the holes the correct size and be sure they are smooth bored. For maximum production of new bees, the holes should be 5/16 in diameter and 6 inches deep. Using a brad point bit helps get the holes smooth. I prefer to use the 6 inch tubes with paper liners. With these nesting tubes you will get a better female to male ratio and the liners can be replaced each year for better sanitation in the nests.

    I am a retail dealer for Knox Cellars and have been surprised at the level of interest in mason bees.

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