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Bee Gap

NGC’s BeeGAP (Gardeners Adding Pollinators) project and partnership with Crown Bees will continue.
With the decline of the most widely used crop pollinator, the honey bee, we have an opportunity toMake a World of Difference by participating in BeeGAP.  Scientist far and wide are studying the use of mason bee pollination for large food crops. 
Mason bees, also called orchard bees, are small native bees that are solitary rather than social.  Unlike honey bees or bumble bees, all female mason bees are fertile and can lay eggs.
Mason bees cannot excavate wood, so they are not a threat to homeowners.
Mason bees are gentle-natured.  They can sting, but do so very rarely.
Mason bees outperform the honey bees for pollination.  One mason bee can pollinate 12 pounds of cherries.  It takes 60 honey bees to do the same task.
As you prepare your gardens for spring, consider encouraging gentle mason bees to nest in your gardens.  If you provide these basics, mason bees will come!
Nesting materials (Paper tear away tubes, reeds, wood trays)
Housing for those nesting materials
Southern or eastern exposure for the house
Pollen-rich plants within 300 feet
Clay-ey mud within 50 feet.

Shirley Johnston giving lesson on the Mason Bee. www.crownbees.com