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I have several small garden areas that total about 200 square feet. I took a class on beekeeping a month or so ago and since my primary goal is pollination and not honey, have decided to go with mason bees rather than honey bees. Lot's of information online, as usual, but would like to hear from someone with practical experience with these bees.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have several small garden areas that total about 200 square feet. I took a class on beekeeping a month or so ago and since my primary goal is pollination and not honey, have decided to go with mason bees rather than honey bees. Lot's of information online, as usual, but would like to hear from someone with practical experience with these bees.

Thanks in advance.
Can I ask why you did not want honey bees in your garden???

Just curious as I have a honey bee hive and totally enjoy working with them.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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ok about 10 years or so ago i bought some.
i did not get a block for them. i put the tubes
into a few gaps in eves of house and shed.
now there are 100's of them. they work well
for my fruit trees. in summer i plant some
borrage. they love it and get well fed for
winter. i think they are worth while to get.
hope this helps
Lruss
 
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I used to keep honey bees, but they can be quite a bit of work, and total loss of hives has become a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can I ask why you did not want honey bees in your garden???

Just curious as I have a honey bee hive and totally enjoy working with them.

May God bless,
Dwight
It isn't that I don't want them but I have a VERY small back yard and .my girl friend is afraid of being stung. She treats me very well so I'm willing to make this concession. I also don't want to hear about it from the neighbors.

Honey bees appear to be more of an investment in both time and money than I want to make at this time. My primary objective is for pollination and from what I've read, Mason bees are much better pollinators that honey bees. They also seem to be a "fire and forget" type of bee. As I'm sure you are aware, honey bees seem to take a bit of maintenance. That was my perspective from the bee keeping class I took.
 

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If you have a small garden then why are you worried about pollination? Is it not getting pollinated?
I can understand if you have an orchard or a large crop but haven't ever heard of a small garden having issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Never heard of them. I would be interested in learning about these also. Please to keep us informed!
Will do. I've built a couple of different style "houses" for next spring so I can get an idea of what works best. As with anything, there are several different opinions on the "best" way to cultivate them. So I'm going to try several suggestions.

Mason bees are supposed to be far superior pollinators to honey bees. Docile, don't sting unless severely provoked, native to North America where as honey bees were imported from Europe.

As pollination of my garden and fruit trees is my primary goal, they seem to be better suited to this mission and much less work compared to honey bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you have a small garden then why are you worried about pollination? Is it not getting pollinated?
I can understand if you have an orchard or a large crop but haven't ever heard of a small garden having issues.
I'm looking for better pollination. I had tons of blooms on my apple tree last year and did not get one piece of fruit. Same thing with the cherry tree. I may not see an improvement but it's a small investment to try and the world could certainly use more bees.
 

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It isn't that I don't want them but I have a VERY small back yard and .my girl friend is afraid of being stung. She treats me very well so I'm willing to make this concession. I also don't want to hear about it from the neighbors.
Honey bee's tend to be very passive. But they will sting. Mason bee's are even more passive and their stings, when they do sting, are very mild. Honey bee's can be a good bit of work and capital investment. Mason's shouldn't venture too far from their nest.

I'd go with Mason bee's if your goal is more/better pollination. They are an cheaper investment if it goes south. Think $20 rather than $200. ICONWINK

I'd have Hive's if I had the room ICONSAD
 

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honey bees seem to take a bit of maintenance. .
That is why I quit, and it is more than a bit. It can be physically demanding.
 

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I'm looking for better pollination. I had tons of blooms on my apple tree last year and did not get one piece of fruit. Same thing with the cherry tree. I may not see an improvement but it's a small investment to try and the world could certainly use more bees.
Have the trees produced fruit in the past? Some trees only produce fruit every couple of years. Perhaps you have some of those species?
 

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FWIW, . . . I go out in the spring, . . . remove the mice guard from the front of my hive somewhere in early spring, . . . on the 2nd or 3rd good 70 degree day.

I also rotate the upper brood chamber with the lower chamber.

About tax day, . . . I put on a 6 inch super onto my hive.

About June 1st, . . . I tip up the roof so they get better ventilation

About Sept. 10th, . . . I take off and process my honey from the 1 super.

About Oct. 15th, . . . I tip the roof back down.

About Thanksgiving I install my mouse guard.

THAT is how I learned to handle honey bees, . . . has workded for me for a whole bunch of time.

YMMV. The picture is my 2016 crop.

And I might add, . . . there is a fellow down in southeastern Ohio, . . . all of his bees (I heard he had 6 hives) are in the upstairs of his garage. They have separate entrances made in the outside wall of the garage for each hive. He does everything with them inside, . . . they are not where anyone can walk through their flight trail to get stung, . . . and would be no different from having a neighbor who had several hives.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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I'm looking for better pollination. I had tons of blooms on my apple tree last year and did not get one piece of fruit. Same thing with the cherry tree. I may not see an improvement but it's a small investment to try and the world could certainly use more bees.

question here? I live and work ag out in the desert here in So CA; Citrus mostly and bees for pollination are not required but some (myself included) tend to think they help and assist in a better crop...
What do you have nearby for the bees to pollinate with? Is it compatible?
Out here the weather and water plays a bigger role...
my 2 cents... Jeff
 
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