Thanks to the Leschi residents who came forward to be bee stewards as we place mason bees throughout the neighborhood. Each steward receives a shelter with a wooden bee-nesting block. At the end of the season, the homes and the blocks will be collected. The harvested bee cocoons can be traded in for permanent nesting blocks and shelters should the steward want to continue, but the important object of this is to spread pollinator awareness and a sensitivity to chemical threats to bees and other living things around us. One of the stewards has a small orchard and the Mason bees really like early stone fruits so we are anxious to see what happens in this setting.
Even if you don’t have a bee home, you can encourage bees by planting the flowers and plants that attract bees. Neighbor Ruby Holland has been doing this and sends us some suggestions.