Mason Bees

Bee or Wasp on Butterfly Bush

My friend Karen, the beekeeper, knew of my interest in bumble bees and suggested I attend a presentation on mason bees. She swore bumble bees and mason bees were the same bee. I wasn’t convinced but I went.

Afterwards, she mentioned introducing me to the speaker, James D. Harden, a consultant with, because he liked my blog. She said this as though it were no big deal and immediately headed across the room towards him. It was too late to protest or look for the proverbial hole in the floor. I write my blog in relative anonymity and this was the first time I was being introduced to a flesh and blood reader who was a stranger to me. I was embarrassed. I write fluff and nonsense, for crying out loud. The last thing I wanted to experience was an introduction to someone who, no doubt, wanted to see what a real, live FOOL looked like.

I survived the experience and he actually had a couple of good ideas I’ll share with you over the next few days but I doubt that I’ll be putting out any mason bee houses. For starters, the mason bee on his slide show did not look a whole lot like a bumble bee. Worse yet, he said you have to harvest the eggs, or it might have been the cocoon, and put them in your refrigerator until next spring. You know that’s another one of those accidents waiting to happen. Nuh-uh. No way.

13 thoughts on “Mason Bees”

  1. I love bees so I’m already looking forward to your next posts! You always make me smile and I’m sure Mr. Harden enjoys your blog for the same reasons!

  2. Yeah, I’d prefer you not try handling bees. This would be yet another accident waiting to happen. Shoot, if you can cause an accident by just walking on your 2 feet you know this bee thing could be a killer.

  3. I’m pleased to see your words, though I’d like to encourage you to consider raising solitary, gentle bees.

    The bees of the world are having challenges. We need every gardener from the UK to California considering to do something active about enhancing the gentle bees in their yard.

    Great flowers for as long as possible. No chemicals. And think through how easy and safe it is to raising gentle bees. No swarming, VERY hard to get stung, and wonderful pollination of fruit, nut, and annuals. Without bees, we’re in trouble.

    We can hope the scientists solve things. I collaborate with them and I hear a different story. This is why I’m trying to change the food chain, one garden at a time.

    Dave, Owner,

      1. Having social media experts like you on the same team would be honoring. You have a voice and people appreciate your opinion. How can I encourage you to think through raising bees that don’t sting and are quite distracting to your yard?

        1. Dave — I am three years unemployed as of next Wednesday. Money is an issue for me and I was very discouraged when Mr. Harden said that you couldn’t use the same bamboo tubes year after year because the Queen wouldn’t return to it. Up to that point, I had been thinking about asking my Dad to build the little bee house and getting some tubes as Mr. Harden claimed the tubes were nominally priced. If I could have blown the tubes out each year with an air gun (in my Dad’s shop) and used them again, there would be no recurring expense. I have even given up coloring my grey hair to save money because I’ve got two more years before I can get Social Security. The best I can do is continue to build a habitat for them as I have done for the butterflies. I have both nectar and host plants for the butterflies which are enjoyed by the bees and wasps as well. I see ALL KINDS of bees and wasps in my yard. I have a wasp nest under my porch that wasps return to every year. I’ve killed them only once when they started buzzing me in the face when I sat in my rocking chair. As long as they leave me alone, I leave them alone because I know they are all pollinators.

  4. You are too funny! I don’t raise bees, but I admire anyone that does. I’ve considered putting out some mason bee tubes, but instead, I just try to be bee-friendly – planting flowers, not using pesticides, etc. I think it’s fantastic that you got to meet someone in real life that reads your blog! What an experience for a blogger!

  5. I always wondered why you wouldn’t let me kill those pesky wasps on your porch. I know they don’t bother you but they bug the devil out of me just knowing they are there and could sting me. But since it is your porch and your rockers I just rock and keep my eyes open.

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