by Rob Sculley, Shorty’s Help & Advice
I have to confess, I am bee fanatic. I designed my garden JUST to attract bees, ANY bees. Every plant I put into the soil had these little guys (as it turn out most are gals) in mind.
My neighbors think I’m crazy, because at any given time they will see me standing with my mug of coffee in my hand, stooped over, studying my bees. I love to watch the honey bees dutifully gathering pollen and nectar to take back to the hive. Then there’s the clumsy looking bumble bee as it meanders from flower to flower crawling deep inside a penstemon or a foxglove. I can’t help but touch their fuzzy back ends just to hear their annoyed buzzing in response. But I’ve never been stung in my garden as I work in it and am occasionally bumped by a passing pollinator.
That may change as this year I am installing my first two beehives. Now my neighbors are going to really think I’m crazy, in my bulky white beekeeper suit, talking to my “girls”. If you have ever thought about encouraging or keeping pollinators, but don’t want to invest in a hive, you might consider trying a native Mason bee house.
Mason bees are a non-aggressive, native, solitary bee that doesn’t create a hive, but lays its eggs in holes, sealing them with mud. They are excellent pollinators!
In late winter/early spring we have everything one would need to get started, including the cocoons of new bees, so you can be “bee” crazy like me!