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Teach Kids About Mason Bees & How They Make Our Food

Mason Bees are amazing pollinators and kids love to watch these friendly non-stinging bees work. Help your kids become Backyard Scientists and teach them how to explore their yards and gardens. Help them not be afraid of bees and have them learn the difference between honey bees & mason bees, learn how pollinators make their food and teach them about their ecosystem and how to care for ALL pollinators. We have created fun and interactive workbooks and worksheets that are printable in color or black and white and have provided videos that you can share with your kids.

TEACHING RESOURCES:

Oregon State University Provides and Incredible website to teach kids about pollinators. They include bee books, videos and session planning for teachers – https://www.foodhero.org/bees

PRINT AND LAMINATE OUR “POLLINATORS AT WORK” SIGN TO HANG UNDER YOUR BEE HOUSE

Print

Read our blog about “How to Involve Kids with Mason Bees” – https://rentmasonbees.com/how-to-involve-kids-with-mason-bees

FUN FACTS FOR KIDS:

  • MERMAID BEE– Mason bees have an iridescent sheen that looks like a glimmery mermaid tail.
  • CLUMSY LITTLE BEES – The honey bee carefully collects pollen on their back legs, whereas the mason bee BELLY FLOPS onto the flower and gets pollen all over their bodies.
  • BEE AMAZED! – It’s good to be clumsy. Mason bees pollinate 95% of the flowers they land on.
  • HARD WORKERS – Mason bees visit up to 2,000 flowers a day.
  • HELP HONEYBEES – They co-exist with honeybees and help reduce the stressful demand placed on honeybee colonies.
  • WORK ALONE – Solitary bees work by themselves, find their own food, build their own nest and lay eggs.
  • APPLES, BLUEBERRIES, ALMONDS, PEARS & CHERRIES – The food you eat was made by a pollinator.

Rent Mason Bees is the only company in the country who has a mason bee program where you “host” mason bees. By simply hanging up a mason bee house and nesting block, your bees will pollinate your yard and then lay eggs or “baby bees” in your nesting block. The kids love seeing how many holes get plugged because inside every plugged hole are 3-5 babies.

At the end of the season, you mail your nesting block back to Rent Mason Bees and we clean and harvest your babies, who have now turned into cocoons. Then, next Spring your babies are sent to farmers all over the United States to pollinate crops and help farmers make more food like apples, blueberries, almonds, cherries and pears.

The results are: your garden gets pollinated, healthy bees are put back into the ecosystem and farmers produce more food.

Educational Videos and Printable Worksheets

Download educational materials here:

Download Honey Bee & Mason Bee Comparison

Color, Black/White

Download Hosting Process Graphic “How Your Mason Bees Make Food”

Color, Black/White

Download Learn about Bees – Workbook for Students – Reading, Math, Science

Color, Black/White

Download Daily Journal “Track the progress of your mason bees”

Color, Black/White

We want to thank all our hosts and mason bee lovers with this special Tribute Video to Mason Bees. Watch these little bees in slow motion and micro film as they're working. 

If you're interested in hosting mason bees next season, please follow our Facebook page or join our newsletter. 
Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/rentmasonbees

Join Our Solitary Bee Community Newsletter:
Please subscribe to our Solitary Bee Community Newsletter and join our BEE-I-P (VIP) elite! Learn about solitary bees and how to care for them, get informed on when to pre-order your mason bees for next spring and receive coupons and sneak peaks before we let everyone else know.
We promise not to bog your email down and we will never share your information. Join Today!
https://rentmasonbees.com/newsletter-signup/

About Rent Mason Bees:

Rent Mason Bees is the only company in the country that brings gardeners and farmers together with our bee rental program. Our rental program works by finding hosts who will hang up a mason bee house in their yards and gardens. Mason bees are exceptional pollinators, so spring-blooming plants in your yard will flourish.

When you rent from us, you don't have to harvest the cocoons or clean the nesting block in the fall. When the developing bees have built their protective cocoons, you mail your nesting blocks back to Rent Mason Bees. Our team then eliminates all the predators by cleaning each mason bee cocoon and sterilizing all the nesting blocks. We then safely store them in hibernation over winter.

The next spring, healthy mason bee cocoons are sent back to our backyard gardeners and to farmers to pollinate crops such as apple, blueberry, pear, cherry and almond. 

The results are: your garden gets pollinated, healthy bees are put back into the ecosystem and you help farmers produce more food.

We want to thank all our hosts and mason bee lovers with this special Tribute Video to Mason Bees. Watch these little bees in slow motion and micro film as they're working.

If you're interested in hosting mason bees next season, please follow our Facebook page or join our newsletter.
Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/rentmasonbees

Join Our Solitary Bee Community Newsletter:
Please subscribe to our Solitary Bee Community Newsletter and join our BEE-I-P (VIP) elite! Learn about solitary bees and how to care for them, get informed on when to pre-order your mason bees for next spring and receive coupons and sneak peaks before we let everyone else know.
We promise not to bog your email down and we will never share your information. Join Today!
https://rentmasonbees.com/newsletter-signup/

About Rent Mason Bees:

Rent Mason Bees is the only company in the country that brings gardeners and farmers together with our bee rental program. Our rental program works by finding hosts who will hang up a mason bee house in their yards and gardens. Mason bees are exceptional pollinators, so spring-blooming plants in your yard will flourish.

When you rent from us, you don't have to harvest the cocoons or clean the nesting block in the fall. When the developing bees have built their protective cocoons, you mail your nesting blocks back to Rent Mason Bees. Our team then eliminates all the predators by cleaning each mason bee cocoon and sterilizing all the nesting blocks. We then safely store them in hibernation over winter.

The next spring, healthy mason bee cocoons are sent back to our backyard gardeners and to farmers to pollinate crops such as apple, blueberry, pear, cherry and almond.

The results are: your garden gets pollinated, healthy bees are put back into the ecosystem and you help farmers produce more food.

44 0

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC41MjE1MkI0OTQ2QzJGNzNG

Tribute to Pollinators & Mason Bee Lovers!

We are thrilled to finally unveil "Life Cycle of a Mason Bee," it took us two years to film this captivating video that offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the extraordinary world of these remarkable pollinators. Join us on this epic journey as we gather a treasure trove of macro photos and videos that chronicle the entire life cycle of Mason Bees. From their humble beginnings as eggs to their remarkable transformation into industrious pollinators, this video showcases the awe-inspiring beauty and importance of these tiny creatures. 
Prepare to be amazed by the intricate stages of their development and the vital role they play in our ecosystem. 
Our mission goes beyond just sharing their story. WE WANT TO INSPIRE YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. 
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to be enchanted by the fascinating "Life Cycle of a Mason Bee." Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey!
 🌼 #RentMasonBees #NatureLovers #Savethebees #LifeCycleOfMasonBees #pollinators #bees #solitarypollinators

About Rent Mason Bees:
Whether you rent from our program and we clean your bees or your host your own, it's important to harvest and clean your mason bee cocoons every fall. Watch this video as we walk you through our process step by step to learn how. 

FIRE- We sterilize all our nesting blocks to remove predators like pollen mites and chalkbrood fungus. 
WATER - We give our bees a bath in a mild water and bleach solution to clean off all the mud and predators. 
LIGHT - We pick out every cocoon that is no longer viable on our light table. 

Our 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 our nesting blocks for your bees. When you release the bees into your yard they will lay babies in your natural habitat and your nesting block. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. 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. The following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. Please watch our Fall Harvest Video to see how we clean them. 
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) -    • Mason Bee Fall Harvest  - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno?si=cgFNRaZXY8wJJ2e5.   

Please visit our website for more information.

We are thrilled to finally unveil "Life Cycle of a Mason Bee," it took us two years to film this captivating video that offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the extraordinary world of these remarkable pollinators. Join us on this epic journey as we gather a treasure trove of macro photos and videos that chronicle the entire life cycle of Mason Bees. From their humble beginnings as eggs to their remarkable transformation into industrious pollinators, this video showcases the awe-inspiring beauty and importance of these tiny creatures.
Prepare to be amazed by the intricate stages of their development and the vital role they play in our ecosystem.
Our mission goes beyond just sharing their story. WE WANT TO INSPIRE YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to be enchanted by the fascinating "Life Cycle of a Mason Bee." Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey!
🌼 #RentMasonBees #NatureLovers #Savethebees #LifeCycleOfMasonBees #pollinators #bees #solitarypollinators

About Rent Mason Bees:
Whether you rent from our program and we clean your bees or your host your own, it's important to harvest and clean your mason bee cocoons every fall. Watch this video as we walk you through our process step by step to learn how.

FIRE- We sterilize all our nesting blocks to remove predators like pollen mites and chalkbrood fungus.
WATER - We give our bees a bath in a mild water and bleach solution to clean off all the mud and predators.
LIGHT - We pick out every cocoon that is no longer viable on our light table.

Our 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 our nesting blocks for your bees. When you release the bees into your yard they will lay babies in your natural habitat and your nesting block. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. 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. The following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. Please watch our Fall Harvest Video to see how we clean them.
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - • Mason Bee Fall Harvest - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno?si=cgFNRaZXY8wJJ2e5.

Please visit our website for more information.

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC40NzZCMERDMjVEN0RFRThB

Life Cycle of a Mason Bee and How You Can Protect Them #savethebees #pollinators #bees

With the help from Abigail, from UC Davis, and Jacqueline, from UC Riverside, they helped us identify what we were looking at inside our nesting block and provided some out of this world pictures of microscopic pollen mites. 
Here is the video from UC Riverside study of Pollen Mites and Chalkbrood
https://youtu.be/ms_AHoExOCg

MORE ABOUT POLLEN MITES AND HOW THEY DEVELOP from Jacqueline at UC Riverside
There are six life stages of these mites (egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, tritonymph, and adults), but when there is enough food and moisture in the nests there are usually only five life stages because they will skip the deutonymph stage.

All life stages of these mites feed, only the deutonymph (second immature stage after the larva stage) do not feed. 

In my experience, when mites start to yellow it is because they are unhealthy, in the lab it seems to be related to mold developing in the pollen. Also, dead mites look yellow. The phoretic deutonymph is a brownish color, they look yellow in the slide mounted photo due to the microscope lighting and setting I was using and my phone camera. This life stage is differently colored because they have a thicker exoskeleton and it helps them survive outside the nest.

The SEM photo I sent was of a phoretic deutonymph, they are not adults, they are an immature life stage that disperses on the adult bees. 

ABOUT SOLITARY BEES
Everyone knows what a honeybee is, but do you know what a solitary bee is? Did you know 90% of bees are SOLITARY? Solitary bees are gaining popularity with backyard gardeners because of how easy they are to care for because they don’t sting and are incredible pollinators. Solitary means each female lays all her own eggs, forages for her own food and makes a nesting chamber for each baby. They do not have a hive or make honey and they have no queen to protect, which makes them friendly and non-aggressive. 

Our program makes it easy to become a solitary bee host. You release solitary bees into your yard and rent our nesting blocks for your bees. The success of our program is releasing solitary bees into your ecosystem to help pollinate and enrich your habitat. They do not chew wood and need to find natural holes in your yard to lay their babies. We mark your nesting block with scent to attract them back, but sometimes they’ll lay their babies in other great spots in your yard, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many holes plugged. It’s not about how many holes get plugged up, it’s about helping our solitary bee populations and releasing more bees. 

Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. When you rent from us we take care of the maintenance and cleaning for you. You keep the black house and the following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. 

We cleaned over 3 million mason bee cocoons last year and over 40 million leafcutter bees. WATCH HOW!!! 
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno 
• Inside a Mason & Leafcutter Block (the importance of why you need to harvest and clean… remove  predators) https://youtu.be/zLg0bYXgu-U 
• Leafcutter Bee Harvest - https://youtu.be/hy_Zz1V4lZA

Visit our website to learn more
https://rentmasonbees.com/

With the help from Abigail, from UC Davis, and Jacqueline, from UC Riverside, they helped us identify what we were looking at inside our nesting block and provided some out of this world pictures of microscopic pollen mites.
Here is the video from UC Riverside study of Pollen Mites and Chalkbrood
https://youtu.be/ms_AHoExOCg

MORE ABOUT POLLEN MITES AND HOW THEY DEVELOP from Jacqueline at UC Riverside
There are six life stages of these mites (egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, tritonymph, and adults), but when there is enough food and moisture in the nests there are usually only five life stages because they will skip the deutonymph stage.

All life stages of these mites feed, only the deutonymph (second immature stage after the larva stage) do not feed.

In my experience, when mites start to yellow it is because they are unhealthy, in the lab it seems to be related to mold developing in the pollen. Also, dead mites look yellow. The phoretic deutonymph is a brownish color, they look yellow in the slide mounted photo due to the microscope lighting and setting I was using and my phone camera. This life stage is differently colored because they have a thicker exoskeleton and it helps them survive outside the nest.

The SEM photo I sent was of a phoretic deutonymph, they are not adults, they are an immature life stage that disperses on the adult bees.

ABOUT SOLITARY BEES
Everyone knows what a honeybee is, but do you know what a solitary bee is? Did you know 90% of bees are SOLITARY? Solitary bees are gaining popularity with backyard gardeners because of how easy they are to care for because they don’t sting and are incredible pollinators. Solitary means each female lays all her own eggs, forages for her own food and makes a nesting chamber for each baby. They do not have a hive or make honey and they have no queen to protect, which makes them friendly and non-aggressive.

Our program makes it easy to become a solitary bee host. You release solitary bees into your yard and rent our nesting blocks for your bees. The success of our program is releasing solitary bees into your ecosystem to help pollinate and enrich your habitat. They do not chew wood and need to find natural holes in your yard to lay their babies. We mark your nesting block with scent to attract them back, but sometimes they’ll lay their babies in other great spots in your yard, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many holes plugged. It’s not about how many holes get plugged up, it’s about helping our solitary bee populations and releasing more bees.

Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. When you rent from us we take care of the maintenance and cleaning for you. You keep the black house and the following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees.

We cleaned over 3 million mason bee cocoons last year and over 40 million leafcutter bees. WATCH HOW!!!
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno
• Inside a Mason & Leafcutter Block (the importance of why you need to harvest and clean… remove predators) https://youtu.be/zLg0bYXgu-U
• Leafcutter Bee Harvest - https://youtu.be/hy_Zz1V4lZA

Visit our website to learn more
https://rentmasonbees.com/

29 3

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC45NDk1REZENzhEMzU5MDQz

LEARN HOW MASON BEES SPIN THEIR SILK COCOON AND SEE HOW POLLEN MITES DEVELOP INSIDE A NESTING CELL

Watch mason bees emerge as they wake up from their long winter slumber. Mason bees need early spring blooms once they emerge and will pollinate for about 4-6 weeks and lay their babies. 

About Rent Mason Bees:
Our 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 our nesting blocks for your bees. When you release the bees into your yard they will lay babies in your natural habitat and your nesting block. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. 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. The following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. Please watch our Fall Harvest Video to see how we clean them. 
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno
• Inside a Mason & Leafcutter Block (the importance of why you need to harvest and clean… remove  predators) https://youtu.be/oDNejgF-w5g

Mason bees need spring blooms and leafcutter bees need summer blooms. We provide a variety of options to help you become a solitary bee host. Our Mason Bee Starter kits come with a black shelter, nesting block, bag of clay and pollinator seeds. If you would like both spring and summer pollinators, our Pollinator Package comes with spring mason and summer leafcutter bees, two different nesting blocks for both bees, bag of clay for your masons and flower seeds. We send you both bees and you put out the mason block out first in spring and swap the blocks with the leafcutter block in summer. Don’t worry, we’ll notify you and teach you along the way. Here is a video we did about swapping blocks: “When to Swap Nesting Blocks” - https://youtu.be/nmAIqvJkW50 

Here is our store link. https://rentmasonbees.com/rentals/

Here are some of our favorite videos about solitary bees: 
• PBS did a beautiful video on mason bees and how they build their nests - https://youtu.be/oPbH1YhsdP8 
• Life Cycle of a Mason Bee - https://youtu.be/rbqnruwG6pA 
• How to Successfully Raise Mason & Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/NADMbe8WB3A
• A Year with Mason Bees (this is a compilation of the 30 educational videos we made in 2021) - https://youtu.be/N6icZmNTzq8 
• Mason Bee Tribute Video in macro lens and slow motion - https://youtu.be/JMbP7BIdYuo 
• Learn About Mason Bees - https://youtu.be/-ca5tykSlF8 
• Learn About Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/iiCiKRt7a_w

Please sign up for our newsletter so you can get all the important information we send to our hosts on successful hosting tips.

Newsletter Sign up - https://rentmasonbees.com/newsletter-... 
• Please make sure your spam filter accepts info@rentmasonbees.com

If you have kids or grandkids, we created a program to teach kids about pollinators with free printable workbooks and worksheets. Turn Kids into Backyard Scientists - Teach Kids About Mason Bees & How They Make Our Food - Rent Mason Bees

Learn what to plant in your garden to support pollinators. Pollinator Partnership has created “recipe” cards for your region. https://www.pollinator.org/gardencards 

Since we’re on a roll, one more item to share… Birds & Blooms Magazine and Mother Earth News both published articles this month on solitary bees. In addition to all the above information, you’ll learn so much more reading this article in Mother Earth News: “Backyard Solitary Bees”

Visit our website to learn more: https://rentmasonbees.com/

Watch mason bees emerge as they wake up from their long winter slumber. Mason bees need early spring blooms once they emerge and will pollinate for about 4-6 weeks and lay their babies.

About Rent Mason Bees:
Our 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 our nesting blocks for your bees. When you release the bees into your yard they will lay babies in your natural habitat and your nesting block. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. 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. The following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. Please watch our Fall Harvest Video to see how we clean them.
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno
• Inside a Mason & Leafcutter Block (the importance of why you need to harvest and clean… remove predators) https://youtu.be/oDNejgF-w5g

Mason bees need spring blooms and leafcutter bees need summer blooms. We provide a variety of options to help you become a solitary bee host. Our Mason Bee Starter kits come with a black shelter, nesting block, bag of clay and pollinator seeds. If you would like both spring and summer pollinators, our Pollinator Package comes with spring mason and summer leafcutter bees, two different nesting blocks for both bees, bag of clay for your masons and flower seeds. We send you both bees and you put out the mason block out first in spring and swap the blocks with the leafcutter block in summer. Don’t worry, we’ll notify you and teach you along the way. Here is a video we did about swapping blocks: “When to Swap Nesting Blocks” - https://youtu.be/nmAIqvJkW50

Here is our store link. https://rentmasonbees.com/rentals/

Here are some of our favorite videos about solitary bees:
• PBS did a beautiful video on mason bees and how they build their nests - https://youtu.be/oPbH1YhsdP8
• Life Cycle of a Mason Bee - https://youtu.be/rbqnruwG6pA
• How to Successfully Raise Mason & Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/NADMbe8WB3A
• A Year with Mason Bees (this is a compilation of the 30 educational videos we made in 2021) - https://youtu.be/N6icZmNTzq8
• Mason Bee Tribute Video in macro lens and slow motion - https://youtu.be/JMbP7BIdYuo
• Learn About Mason Bees - https://youtu.be/-ca5tykSlF8
• Learn About Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/iiCiKRt7a_w

Please sign up for our newsletter so you can get all the important information we send to our hosts on successful hosting tips.

Newsletter Sign up - https://rentmasonbees.com/newsletter-...
• Please make sure your spam filter accepts [email protected]

If you have kids or grandkids, we created a program to teach kids about pollinators with free printable workbooks and worksheets. Turn Kids into Backyard Scientists - Teach Kids About Mason Bees & How They Make Our Food - Rent Mason Bees

Learn what to plant in your garden to support pollinators. Pollinator Partnership has created “recipe” cards for your region. https://www.pollinator.org/gardencards

Since we’re on a roll, one more item to share… Birds & Blooms Magazine and Mother Earth News both published articles this month on solitary bees. In addition to all the above information, you’ll learn so much more reading this article in Mother Earth News: “Backyard Solitary Bees”

Visit our website to learn more: https://rentmasonbees.com/

28 0

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC4yODlGNEE0NkRGMEEzMEQy

Watch How Mason Bees Emerge from Their Cocoons

Pollinator. Mason. Jeweler. A female blue orchard bee is a multitasking master. She fashions exquisite nests out of mud and pollen that resemble pieces of jewelry. And in the process, she helps us grow nuts and fruits.

SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt
Please support us on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/deeplook 
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DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

* NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! *

A new type of bee is buzzing through California's orchards. And researchers are hoping that the iridescent, greenish insect may help provide a more efficient way to pollinate nuts and fruits in an era when traditional honeybees have struggled.

Unlike honeybees, blue orchard bees don’t sting humans. And instead of building large colonies with thousands of worker bees caring for eggs laid by a queen bee, female blue orchard bees work alone to build their nests and stock them with food. They’re solitary bees, like most of the 4,000 species of bees in North America.

Blue orchard bees, which are native to the United States, are of increasing interest to scientists, government agencies and farmers for their ability to pollinate almonds, sweet cherries and other tree fruits more efficiently than honeybees. 

“This is, I think, the moment for these bees to shine,” said entomologist Natalie Boyle, who studies blue orchard bees at the United States Department of Agriculture in Logan, Utah.    

Boyle works with almond growers in California, whose crop is worth $5.2 billion a year and who rely heavily on honeybees to pollinate their orchards every February. Research has found that 400 female blue orchard bees are as effective at pollinating almonds as the more than 10,000 bees in a honeybee hive, said Boyle. 

Between 40 and 50 percent of honeybee colonies die each year around the country, according to the yearly National Honey Bee Survey, carried out by universities with the sponsorship of the USDA and the California Almond Board, among others.  

Finding other bees that could work side by side with honeybees could offer what Boyle calls “pollination insurance.”

--- What is a mason bee?
The blue orchard bee is a mason bee. Females build their nests out of mud that they collect with two huge pincer-like tools on their face called mandibles. In nature, they build their nests in places like hollow twigs. But they will also build them in pencil-wide drill holes in a wood block. 

--- What makes blue orchard bees good pollinators?
One thing that makes blue orchard bees good pollinators are hairs on their abdomen called scopa, on which they collect and spread pollen. Blue orchard bees are particularly good at pollinating almonds and tree fruits like cherries and apples because they love foraging in their flowers. And they’re particularly well-suited to pollinate almonds, which are in bloom in February, when it’s chilly in California’s Central Valley, because they will fly around and forage at a cooler temperature than honeybees.  

---+ Read the article on KQED Science:
https://www.kqed.org/science/1928378/watch-this-bee-build-her-bee-jeweled-nest


---+ For more information:
Download the free book How to Manage the Blue Orchard Bee:
https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/How-to-Manage-the-Blue-Orchard-Bee

---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower’s Hidden Treasure
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZrTndD1H10

What Do Earwigs Do With Those Pincers Anyway?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuOnqWpIL9E

---+ See some great videos and documentaries from PBS Digital Studios!

PBS Eons: When Insects First Flew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QMcXEj7IT0

CrashCourse: The Plants & The Bees: Plant Reproduction - CrashCourse Biology #38
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExaQ8shhkw8

---+ Follow KQED Science:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kqedscience/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kqedscience
KQED Science on kqed.org: http://www.kqed.org/science
Facebook Watch: https://www.facebook.com/DeepLookPBS/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/deeplook


---+ About KQED

KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, radio and web media.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the Templeton Religion Trust and the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.

#deeplook #blueorchardbee #wildlifedocumentary

Pollinator. Mason. Jeweler. A female blue orchard bee is a multitasking master. She fashions exquisite nests out of mud and pollen that resemble pieces of jewelry. And in the process, she helps us grow nuts and fruits.

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DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

* NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! *

A new type of bee is buzzing through California's orchards. And researchers are hoping that the iridescent, greenish insect may help provide a more efficient way to pollinate nuts and fruits in an era when traditional honeybees have struggled.

Unlike honeybees, blue orchard bees don’t sting humans. And instead of building large colonies with thousands of worker bees caring for eggs laid by a queen bee, female blue orchard bees work alone to build their nests and stock them with food. They’re solitary bees, like most of the 4,000 species of bees in North America.

Blue orchard bees, which are native to the United States, are of increasing interest to scientists, government agencies and farmers for their ability to pollinate almonds, sweet cherries and other tree fruits more efficiently than honeybees.

“This is, I think, the moment for these bees to shine,” said entomologist Natalie Boyle, who studies blue orchard bees at the United States Department of Agriculture in Logan, Utah.

Boyle works with almond growers in California, whose crop is worth $5.2 billion a year and who rely heavily on honeybees to pollinate their orchards every February. Research has found that 400 female blue orchard bees are as effective at pollinating almonds as the more than 10,000 bees in a honeybee hive, said Boyle.

Between 40 and 50 percent of honeybee colonies die each year around the country, according to the yearly National Honey Bee Survey, carried out by universities with the sponsorship of the USDA and the California Almond Board, among others.

Finding other bees that could work side by side with honeybees could offer what Boyle calls “pollination insurance.”

--- What is a mason bee?
The blue orchard bee is a mason bee. Females build their nests out of mud that they collect with two huge pincer-like tools on their face called mandibles. In nature, they build their nests in places like hollow twigs. But they will also build them in pencil-wide drill holes in a wood block.

--- What makes blue orchard bees good pollinators?
One thing that makes blue orchard bees good pollinators are hairs on their abdomen called scopa, on which they collect and spread pollen. Blue orchard bees are particularly good at pollinating almonds and tree fruits like cherries and apples because they love foraging in their flowers. And they’re particularly well-suited to pollinate almonds, which are in bloom in February, when it’s chilly in California’s Central Valley, because they will fly around and forage at a cooler temperature than honeybees.

---+ Read the article on KQED Science:
https://www.kqed.org/science/1928378/watch-this-bee-build-her-bee-jeweled-nest


---+ For more information:
Download the free book How to Manage the Blue Orchard Bee:
https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/How-to-Manage-the-Blue-Orchard-Bee

---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower’s Hidden Treasure
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZrTndD1H10

What Do Earwigs Do With Those Pincers Anyway?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuOnqWpIL9E

---+ See some great videos and documentaries from PBS Digital Studios!

PBS Eons: When Insects First Flew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QMcXEj7IT0

CrashCourse: The Plants & The Bees: Plant Reproduction - CrashCourse Biology #38
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExaQ8shhkw8

---+ Follow KQED Science:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kqedscience/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kqedscience
KQED Science on kqed.org: http://www.kqed.org/science
Facebook Watch: https://www.facebook.com/DeepLookPBS/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/deeplook


---+ About KQED

KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, radio and web media.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the Templeton Religion Trust and the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.

#deeplook #blueorchardbee #wildlifedocumentary

106.5K 5K

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC4wOTA3OTZBNzVEMTUzOTMy

Watch This Bee Build Her Bee-jeweled Nest | Deep Look

Whether you rent from our program and we clean your bees or your host your own, it's important to harvest and clean your mason bee cocoons every fall. Watch this video as we walk you through our process step by step to learn how. 

FIRE- We sterilize all our nesting blocks to remove predators like pollen mites and fungus. 
WATER - We give our bees a bath in a mild water and bleach solution to clean off all the mud and predators. 
LIGHT - We pick out every cocoon that is no longer viable on our light table. 

About Rent Mason Bees:
Our 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 our nesting blocks for your bees. When you release the bees into your yard they will lay babies in your natural habitat and your nesting block. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. 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. The following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. Please watch our Fall Harvest Video to see how we clean them. 
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno
• Inside a Mason & Leafcutter Block (the importance of why you need to harvest and clean… remove  predators) https://youtu.be/oDNejgF-w5g

Mason bees need spring blooms and leafcutter bees need summer blooms. We provide a variety of options to help you become a solitary bee host. Our Mason Bee Starter kits come with a black shelter, nesting block, bag of clay and pollinator seeds. If you would like both spring and summer pollinators, our Pollinator Package comes with spring mason and summer leafcutter bees, two different nesting blocks for both bees, bag of clay for your masons and flower seeds. We send you both bees and you put out the mason block out first in spring and swap the blocks with the leafcutter block in summer. Don’t worry, we’ll notify you and teach you along the way. Here is a video we did about swapping blocks: “When to Swap Nesting Blocks” - https://youtu.be/nmAIqvJkW50 

Here is our store link. https://rentmasonbees.com/rentals/

Here are some of our favorite videos about solitary bees: 
• PBS did a beautiful video on mason bees and how they build their nests - https://youtu.be/oPbH1YhsdP8 
• Life Cycle of a Mason Bee - https://youtu.be/rbqnruwG6pA 
• How to Successfully Raise Mason & Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/NADMbe8WB3A
• A Year with Mason Bees (this is a compilation of the 30 educational videos we made in 2021) - https://youtu.be/N6icZmNTzq8 
• Mason Bee Tribute Video in macro lens and slow motion - https://youtu.be/JMbP7BIdYuo 
• Learn About Mason Bees - https://youtu.be/-ca5tykSlF8 
• Learn About Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/iiCiKRt7a_w

Please sign up for our newsletter so you can get all the important information we send to our hosts on successful hosting tips.

Newsletter Sign up - https://rentmasonbees.com/newsletter-... 
• Please make sure your spam filter accepts info@rentmasonbees.com

If you have kids or grandkids, we created a program to teach kids about pollinators with free printable workbooks and worksheets. Turn Kids into Backyard Scientists - Teach Kids About Mason Bees & How They Make Our Food - Rent Mason Bees

Learn what to plant in your garden to support pollinators. Pollinator Partnership has created “recipe” cards for your region. https://www.pollinator.org/gardencards 

Since we’re on a roll, one more item to share… Birds & Blooms Magazine and Mother Earth News both published articles this month on solitary bees. In addition to all the above information, you’ll learn so much more reading this article in Mother Earth News: “Backyard Solitary Bees”

Visit our website to learn more: https://rentmasonbees.com/

Whether you rent from our program and we clean your bees or your host your own, it's important to harvest and clean your mason bee cocoons every fall. Watch this video as we walk you through our process step by step to learn how.

FIRE- We sterilize all our nesting blocks to remove predators like pollen mites and fungus.
WATER - We give our bees a bath in a mild water and bleach solution to clean off all the mud and predators.
LIGHT - We pick out every cocoon that is no longer viable on our light table.

About Rent Mason Bees:
Our 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 our nesting blocks for your bees. When you release the bees into your yard they will lay babies in your natural habitat and your nesting block. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting solitary bees to remove harmful predators. 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. The following year, you will just need to reorder an “insert” with a sterilized nesting block and clean bees. Please watch our Fall Harvest Video to see how we clean them.
• Our Mason Bee Fall Harvest (why you Rent… we do all the cleaning) - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno
• Inside a Mason & Leafcutter Block (the importance of why you need to harvest and clean… remove predators) https://youtu.be/oDNejgF-w5g

Mason bees need spring blooms and leafcutter bees need summer blooms. We provide a variety of options to help you become a solitary bee host. Our Mason Bee Starter kits come with a black shelter, nesting block, bag of clay and pollinator seeds. If you would like both spring and summer pollinators, our Pollinator Package comes with spring mason and summer leafcutter bees, two different nesting blocks for both bees, bag of clay for your masons and flower seeds. We send you both bees and you put out the mason block out first in spring and swap the blocks with the leafcutter block in summer. Don’t worry, we’ll notify you and teach you along the way. Here is a video we did about swapping blocks: “When to Swap Nesting Blocks” - https://youtu.be/nmAIqvJkW50

Here is our store link. https://rentmasonbees.com/rentals/

Here are some of our favorite videos about solitary bees:
• PBS did a beautiful video on mason bees and how they build their nests - https://youtu.be/oPbH1YhsdP8
• Life Cycle of a Mason Bee - https://youtu.be/rbqnruwG6pA
• How to Successfully Raise Mason & Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/NADMbe8WB3A
• A Year with Mason Bees (this is a compilation of the 30 educational videos we made in 2021) - https://youtu.be/N6icZmNTzq8
• Mason Bee Tribute Video in macro lens and slow motion - https://youtu.be/JMbP7BIdYuo
• Learn About Mason Bees - https://youtu.be/-ca5tykSlF8
• Learn About Leafcutter Bees - https://youtu.be/iiCiKRt7a_w

Please sign up for our newsletter so you can get all the important information we send to our hosts on successful hosting tips.

Newsletter Sign up - https://rentmasonbees.com/newsletter-...
• Please make sure your spam filter accepts [email protected]

If you have kids or grandkids, we created a program to teach kids about pollinators with free printable workbooks and worksheets. Turn Kids into Backyard Scientists - Teach Kids About Mason Bees & How They Make Our Food - Rent Mason Bees

Learn what to plant in your garden to support pollinators. Pollinator Partnership has created “recipe” cards for your region. https://www.pollinator.org/gardencards

Since we’re on a roll, one more item to share… Birds & Blooms Magazine and Mother Earth News both published articles this month on solitary bees. In addition to all the above information, you’ll learn so much more reading this article in Mother Earth News: “Backyard Solitary Bees”

Visit our website to learn more: https://rentmasonbees.com/

289 35

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC4wMTcyMDhGQUE4NTIzM0Y5

Mason Bee Fall Harvest - Watch How We Clean 3 Million Mason Bee Cocoons #savethebees

At Rent Mason Bees, gardeners release solitary bees into their yards and rent nesting blocks. When you release solitary bees into your yard, they will enrich your habitat and support a healthy ecosystem that cleans the air, stabilizes soil and supports other wildlife. Harvesting and cleaning mason bee cocoons is a critical step when hosting bees, but for those that want to support bees and not worry about any maintenance, they can rent and return nesting blocks in the fall to be cleaned. 
• HEALTHY BEES ARE RETURNED TO THE ENVIRONMENT - By removing all predators, gardeners will release healthy and strong bees the following spring. 
• WATCH OUR FALL HARVEST VIDEO - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno 
• ONE OF NATURE’S BEST POLLINATORS – Solitary bees are extraordinary pollinators due to the tiny hairs on their body called scopa. Honeybees collect pollen on their back legs, whereas solitary bees belly flop onto flowers and collect pollen all over their bodies. This enables them to pollinate 95% of the flowers they land on and they can visit over 2,000 flowers a day. 
• HONEYBEE PARTNERS – The stressful workload that is placed on honeybee colonies is reduced when they work alongside solitary bees.
Gardeners can welcome two types of solitary bees into their garden, mason and leafcutter bees. Mason bees are spring pollinators and leafcutter bees are summer pollinators. You can help solitary bee populations thrive by taking proper care of your gardens and releasing healthy bees back into your habitat.  
Check out our website for more information
www.RentMasonBees.com

At Rent Mason Bees, gardeners release solitary bees into their yards and rent nesting blocks. When you release solitary bees into your yard, they will enrich your habitat and support a healthy ecosystem that cleans the air, stabilizes soil and supports other wildlife. Harvesting and cleaning mason bee cocoons is a critical step when hosting bees, but for those that want to support bees and not worry about any maintenance, they can rent and return nesting blocks in the fall to be cleaned.
• HEALTHY BEES ARE RETURNED TO THE ENVIRONMENT - By removing all predators, gardeners will release healthy and strong bees the following spring.
• WATCH OUR FALL HARVEST VIDEO - https://youtu.be/wzDWeADhOno
• ONE OF NATURE’S BEST POLLINATORS – Solitary bees are extraordinary pollinators due to the tiny hairs on their body called scopa. Honeybees collect pollen on their back legs, whereas solitary bees belly flop onto flowers and collect pollen all over their bodies. This enables them to pollinate 95% of the flowers they land on and they can visit over 2,000 flowers a day.
• HONEYBEE PARTNERS – The stressful workload that is placed on honeybee colonies is reduced when they work alongside solitary bees.
Gardeners can welcome two types of solitary bees into their garden, mason and leafcutter bees. Mason bees are spring pollinators and leafcutter bees are summer pollinators. You can help solitary bee populations thrive by taking proper care of your gardens and releasing healthy bees back into your habitat.
Check out our website for more information
www.RentMasonBees.com

19 3

YouTube Video UExtYUZOS0puOTF0UnFjaE9HRXdOOUVMN1Q1MlNVa0xsSC5DQUNERDQ2NkIzRUQxNTY1

MASON BEE - Best video of the season of a mason bee covered in pollen


For more educational videos, please visit our VIDEO LIBRARY. Click here.

Bee Amazed

Mason bees
visit up to
2,000
flowers a day
400 Mason bees
do the work of
40,000
honey bees
One Mason bee
block can hold
500
eggs
Farmers
release
1,000
bees per acre
to pollinate their
crops