A group from Landis Homes, Lititz, Pa., has been placing nesting boxes for Mason bees, harvesting the cocoons, preserving them and placing them in new areas. Two volunteers from a local fruit farm joined the most recent effort. They were seeking new ways to pollinate their crops.
Don Ziegler, who is part of Landis Homes Friends of The Woods and Wetlands, explains their practice as follows:
In March we re-mount these Osmia nesting blocks around campus and load them with the 2019 cocoons to hatch for the six-week 2020 six-week spring pollen cycle. In July, we mount the summer pollinator nesting blocks for other diverse native species that pollinate in hot weather.
I recommend such extra support of struggling native bees to hold the ecological balance now under many pressures, including the ubiquitous pressure of the non-native European honeybee. The knowledge and practice are spreading here among orchardists and backyard gardeners. We share everything we know and have.
- Why harvest mason bee cocoons?
- Learn more about the Landis Homes project: Osmia Cocoon Harvest, January 2020