Bjorn Apiaries

Every Spring:

Free Mason Bee Workshop

Thank you to all attending the mason bee class in 2016.

We had a fun time! We hope you had a fantastic season.

Mason bees are shipped in Jan-Mar in cold weather. If you want mason bees, please contact us early as supplies are limited. Please see the "Products page" for details.


Looking for a gift idea?

Mason Bee starter kits are perfect for

the backyard gardener.

 

Please Note:

Try our nearly indestructible mason bee homes. Built for over ten years, and now copied by others, our homes and paper insert tubes, they are the best system available. As with anything, you get what you pay for. Buy the right system for a healthy bee colony. See the products page for the Bjorn solitary bee system. Thank You!

 

Customer Comment:

I ordered some bulk cocoons from you last year, and the survivor rate of your cocoons, out performed the cocoons I purchased from Idaho, Washington, and Canada. I believe your cocoons were more acclimatized to the weather we have here in Ohio.

Ted Beedy - Urbana, Ohio (2016)

Mason bee starter kits are now

available. Mason Bees will be shipped in Jan/Feb/Mar to ensure safe shipping. A great gift for beekeepers, gardeners, and nature loving family and friends.


2017 FREE Mason Bee Class. 

March 4th 10am to Noon



Want to try Mason Bees in 2017? Need backyard pollination but have no desire for a full size honey bee hive found with normal beekeeping? Are you a beekeeper just looking for a new challenge? Then consider keeping mason bees. Bjorn Apiaries offers the following:

 

1) Mason bee starter kits, tubes, and other items are offered on the product page. Bulk cocoons and tubes will be offered once all starter home kit orders are filled, if availability allows. Email for additional information.


2) Order your mason bees now and attend one of the free mason bees programs that will be held March This is highly encouraged for

those local to Bjorn Apiaries. Hands-on instruction for mason cocoon cleaning, handling, life-cycle information, and over-all care is given.

There is no charge for the mason bee class.

 

 

Mason bee starter kits (with homes) can be found on the

Products Page - Click Here


Get updates and information as it becomes available by following us on Facebook.


Email: mikenida@ptd.net


Mason Bee and Solitary Bee Program

Bjorn Apiaries has spent the last ten years propagating and building a system for providing alternative pollination and bee services. Some gardeners and even farmers, limited by zoning, safety, or health issues in regards to full size honey bee hives, yet still in the need for pollination, may want to consider a solitary bee system for their property. Many gardeners have realized the lack of native and beneficial pollinators in recent years This is a viable solution.

What are mason or other solitary bees?


Solitary bees, and mason bees in particular, are bees that nest in clusters yet use individual nesting holes. They provide a safe and effective alternative to full size honey bee hives in regards to pollination.  Two solitary bees that do well in our area are the blue mason bee (Osmia Lignaria) and the horned-faced bee (Osmia Cornifrons).


Mason bees need a chemical free environment, a place to nest, mud and water, and flowers from your trees or garden. They will provide a maximum amount of pollination during late April, May, and the beginning of June. They are perfect for fruit trees and early garden needs.


Considered "super pollinators", as little as 250 females mason bees can pollinate an acre of apple trees, as compared to a full size colony of honey bees numbering 40,000


If you want the benefits of mason bees, yet do not want to handle or maintain colonies yourself, then contact us about having us do all the work for you. The nesting boxes the mason bees are housed in are small. About the size of a shoe box. They can be placed under a homes roof overhang or in a tree.


Mason bees are very sensitive to pesticides and chemicals. We offer these to backyard gardeners and for special circumstances where traditional full size honey bee  hives may not be practical or desired. We do not offer mason bees as an alternative to traditional honey bee pollination for commercial operations and farms.


While some report that mason bees are somewhat immune to some the problems that honey bees face, that is simply not true. Chemicals, lack of forage, disease, and other issues also impact the mason bees. (As well as butterflies, bats, etc.) The shorter forage area of the mason bees (100-300 yards) limits the potential of chemicals to be minimized if the beekeeper selects good locations. Mason bees simply do not forage as wide of an area as honey bees, limiting the chemical/pesticide footprint of pollen they bring back to the nest/hive. While honey bee losses may be due to chemicals sprayed a mile down the road, if you lose mason bees, it is probably due to what you are using yourself.   


Mason bees are safe, discreet, and enjoyable.


Mason bee starter kits are available on the Bjorn product page. We only mail mason bee starter kits in January and February. They can also be picked up during our scheduled mason bee demonstration weekend in the spring.

A Proper Mason Bee Program

 

Mason bees need clean tubes each year to maximize their success in propagating each year. Mason bees have disease and pest issues that can compound if not using the correct system to keep healthy bees. We suggest

you consider the following:

 

1) Do not use wood blocks. These can be found about everywhere and are not kept by knowledgeable mason beekeepers. Mason bees are healthier and multiply successfully each year when clean holes are provided. Wooden blocks promote mites (not the same mite seen with honey bees) and allow other

disease to build-up over a couple years Those selling nicely painted wood

blocks are selling you a garden novelty item, and not one based on keeping a thriving mason bee population.

 

2) Use a tube system with paper (not plastic) inserts. This allows you to control disease and clean your cocoons when needed. Providing new tubes with paper inserts each year will ensure a healthier bee population. DO NOT buy bamboo reeds and other "junk" bee systems designed to make the seller money, and NOT have you keep healthy mason bees. There are many "sellers" out there offering bee houses and homes. Many of these are not based on selling you a product for success, but rather a product to make a sale. We sell the products we use ourselves. We also sell actual mason bees with our starter kits. 

 

3) Gently remove your mason bees cans or homes after the season. This is usually in June. You can keep them in an unheated garage. Leaving your mason bees out longer invites parasitic wasps to enter your mason bee cavities and lay eggs that will feast on your mason bee larvae.

NOTE: Two different types of Chalcid wasps will attack your mason bees larvae inside the tubes. One is "Metallic" green in color, the other blue. They are very thin, about half an inch long. If you see them, kill them if you can.


Please know, we make every attempt to allow you to successfully keep mason bees. We could sell bamboo reeds, tubes without paper inserts, and cheap wooden homes, all designed to make more profit. That is NOT our goal. Our

goal is to provide functional and practical items designed to have your bees

thrive and provide enjoyment to you.


Thank you for reading our webpage on solitary and beneficial bees. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.