Bees pollinate one-third of our food supply. These particular bees are highly efficient pollinators as one mason bee can pollinate 12 lbs. of cherries. In contrast, 60 honey bees are needed to complete this same task. Mason bees will increase crop yields by pollinating spring plants, fruits, and nuts.
Mason bees are early spring pollinators able to emerge when temperatures are only 10 degrees Celsius. The males only live for two weeks which they spend trying to mate. As each female can mate, these bees are non-aggressive since they are not protecting a queen and hive. Females spend six weeks gathering nectar, pollinating and building their own nest. She is able to select the sex of her offspring and will produce both male and female eggs. Then the mason bee season is over and we wait for a new generation of bees to emerge next spring.
I am looking forward to bee-keeping in my garden and thereby protecting our food supply.