Bainbridge Island has an incredible habitat for solitary mason bees. With Big Leaf Maples, Madronas, Fruit Trees, Community Gardens, Orchards, Farms, and avid backyard gardeners, mason bees have found a new home that they will thrive in.
This Spring over 80,000 native blue orchard mason bees were released all over the island. As you walk around the island, keep an eye open for large black “huts/totes” that hold hundreds of bees or check out your neighbors backyard for a black bee house. Here are some of the locations: Wacky Nut Farm, Bloedel Reserve, HeyDay Farm, Johnson Farm, Blakely Harbor, Grand Forest, Winney Farm, many locations throughout Parks & Rec and over 200 residential homes.
These friendly little bees don’t sting and aren’t bothered if you want to watch them work (see video below). They are known as one of Mother Nature’s best pollinators because of the way they “belly flop” onto flowers collecting pollen all over their body. This enables them to pollinate 95% of the flowers they land on and they can visit up to 2,000 blossoms a day. That’s a busy bee!!
Rent Mason Bees program makes it easy to become a solitary bee host. Gardeners purchase a bee kit that comes with house, nesting block, clay and bees. You release solitary bees into your yard and RENT the nesting blocks for your bees. A critical step when hosting mason bees is to harvest and clean them in the fall (see video below). When you rent from us we take care of the maintenance and cleaning for you. You keep the black house and return the nesting blocks back to us in September.
If interested in hosting mason bees, the last shipment will be delivered at the end of April. Mason bees will continue to pollinate throughout May/June. With their short life-span they will be done by summer and then nesting blocks need to be removed and stored in garage/shed to protect them from predators.
Please visit our website at Solitary Pollinators – Rent Mason Bees
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO HARVEST AND CLEAN EVERY FALL