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Are we raising extra-large mason bees?

Except for natural bamboo tubes, it seems that most commercial tunnels sold for pollinator housing have an inside diameter of about 7 to 8 mm for orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria), 6 mm for blueberry bees (Osmia ribifloris), and 5 mm for both alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachile rotundata) and raspberry bees (Osmia aglaia). I don’t […] Read more

Pollinator walls, bee towers, and insect hotels

It seems that everyone is building for the bees these days, from private citizens, to transportation departments, to architectural design firms. The proliferation of bug structures, no matter how humble or how grand, indicates that humans are finally getting it: insects need a place to live too. As we cover more and more of the […] Read more

Occupy the barren landscape

When we think of bee forage, we usually think of vegetable plots, row crops, orchards, hedgerows, flower gardens, and meadows. But some of the best bee forage in the world comes in the form of trees—not only fruit trees—but trees like maple, chestnut, willow, basswood, locust, and alder. Some species provide only pollen, some only […] Read more