The Orchard Mason Bee; The Life History, Biology, Propagation, and Use of a North American Native Bee (Osmia lignaria propinqua Cresson)
by Brian L. Griffin and Illustrated by Sharon Smith and the Author
3rd printing 2011 Knox Cellars Publishing, Bellingham, WA
Here is a great resource for “How To” capture and raise these mild mannered pollinators in your own backyard. The lifestyle and habitat for the Orchard Mason Bee fits our native area, and can assure that you have pollination when apples, pears and other crops need it, even in the most fickle spring weather.
This short book is well referenced. It gives understandable explanations for the “bee science” as they develop and adapt to your yard. Presented with perfect science projects for young children, too. All the dimensions for making “Bee Boxes” of your own are given, or you can find ready made options for habitation..
But the Orchard Mason Bee does not make honey. These bees live as neighbors in a common area, but are not “social” or in need of leadership. They are not a hive, but a significant pollination crew. The Mason Bee will integrate into your garden without displacing your current pollinators. Not bad when we are looking at significant climate change stressing all of our crop cycles.