(Capital Press) Jim Watts calls himself a farmer, but he doesn’t raise livestock or crops. Watts is a mason bee farmer. Watts Solitary Bees has two divisions: a commercial side that sells mason and leafcutter bees to large-scale producers, and a rental side, called Rent Mason Bees, that rents bees to small farms, backyard gardeners and urbanites. In recent years, many farmers say they have bought or rented mason bees because they are affordable, low maintenance, improve crop yields, repopulate areas with native species and even push honey bees working alongside them to be more efficient.
(Columbia Basin Herald) Bees were one of the topics discussed at by the Washington State Tree Fruit Association during the 115th annual meeting and Northwest Horticultural Expo. Dr. Natalie Boyle, of Penn State University, shared the research she recently completed on blue orchard bees.
(University of Virginia) “The non-natives are already the most common species of mason bee in much of Virginia.” TBR Editor: Although the author of this piece and I share the same name, there’s no relation.