Purple Haze Lavender

Archives

Mason Bee Condos!

March 24, 2015 by purplehazelavender

The other day I was finally able to place my mason bee condos outside for the first time. This is the first year I haven’t made my own mason bee homes and instead bought a commercially produced one from a local store.

photo of mason bee houses

Mason Bee Condos

In the past I’ve simply drilled holes in a block of wood and hung it on the south facing side of our house. This year though, we found some really neat bee homes that will be easy to clean and reusable from year to year.
With the decline of regular honey bees over the past several years, I began looking for alternative pollinators for our fruit trees here at Purple Haze. Typically, our trees blossom long before the honey bees are active so our pollination rate was very low. Mason bees, however, emerge from their cocoons in early spring and literally “throw” themselves into pollinating all available flowers and blossoms. While a honeybee will methodically place pollen on it’s legs for transport, the mason bee simply dives in, coating it’s entire underside with a healthy coating of pollen…this is why they are such prolific pollinators as they go from blossom to blossom, leaving a bit and taking a bit.
photo of bee

Red Mason Bee

While having these little bees around early is nice, they are also a gentle, solitary creature. It’s almost impossible to goad them into stinging and it’s a cool pastime to see them laying their eggs in your provided housing. These newly laid eggs will then provide one with future generations of mason bees in the years to come. The term “mason” is derived from the fact that after laying and egg and depositing some pollen for food, the female bee will then seal off the “birth” chamber with a wall of mud. She will then go out, gather more pollen, lay another egg with  pollen food included, and seal it off with more mud. This will go on for around 4-5 weeks when sadly, the bee will die. She will, hopefully, have left future generations of bees sealed up until the next spring when the entire process starts over again.

Mason bees are fun for the whole family. They’re harmless, hard working, can be observed up closely and will provide you with a bountiful fruit harvest year after year. For more information on raising mason bees try visiting www.crownbees.com …and have fun!

photo of be houses at farmhouse

Mason Bee Condos at Farmhouse

If you make it to Purple Haze Lavender Farm, feel free to visit our mason bee condominiums that are attached to the south side of the Farmhouse Vacation rental.

Listen to owner Mike Reichner on Celebrate Green! Show tomorrow…

March 9, 2010 by purplehazelavender

Listen live tomorrow, March 10, 2010 at 10:45 am PST as Purple Haze Lavender owner Mike visits with mom and daughter team, Lynn and Corey from Celebrate Green! Or you can catch the segment later via podcast or on iTunes with in 24 hours of the show!

Check out the video we added about growing lavender!

March 11, 2009 by purplehazelavender

Lavender plants

Lavender plants

 Check out the video Emelie Tolley (Life with Herbs host) made when she visited Purple Haze Lavender Farm!  You will get some great tips on caring for your lavender plants  and on different varieties that we carry on the farm.   Now is the time to make sure your flower beds are ready for your lavender plants– shipping is scheduled to begin in April!   You may also want to take a moment and read our “growing lavender” page on our website to get even more great info on growing a happy, healthy lavender plant!

»