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Old 07-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Mason Bees take over for Honey Bees

Miner bees cover for honey bees in pollination chores :: The Republic

"Adriean Mayor, museum curator for the Smokies' Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, said miner bees are native to the U.S. and able to resist colony collapse, a disorder that has plagued imported honeybees in recent years."

""They're solitary in the sense they don't form hives, but when they find the right soil, they can be found nesting in large numbers next to each other," Mayor said. "All our native bees ... play a big role as pollinators, especially with the decline of honeybees.""

"The miner bees' gentle nature is characteristic of native bees in general, Mayor said. "People tend to think of bees as being aggressive, but most native pollinators are very docile. They're basically just minding their own business.""
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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We generally think of human activity as destructive to habitat, but here's a case where we have inadvertantly created something useful to another species.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benj1 View Post
We generally think of human activity as destructive to habitat, but here's a case where we have inadvertantly created something useful to another species.
Much as we have done for barn swallows. I liked the story; thank you jack.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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I loved the last line "They better not have nested in my nostrils."

I'll never have miner bees if they want dry, well drained soil, but I've been trying to create habitat friendly to bumblebees, with areas of bare soil, brush piles, bare wood (I left some pallets that I had rocks delivered on, partially filled them with soil and covered them with brush and put them in a few places around my yard; I figured that would provide lots of kinds of habitats for critters). I certainly have many more bumblebee types and numbers this year, as well as other species of native bees that I haven't identified. I haven't had much luck following them back to their homes, largely for lack of patience on my part.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:53 PM   #5
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Yeah.
I did more or less the same as Turttle there; brush pile, (2 in fact).
I also built a Orchard Mason bee nest out of some old timber I found.
There is a general increase in arthropods in my garden (I think - although this is the year I have watched it most closely) but nothing in my bee house.

Well, possibly a spider.
I'll keep trying I suppose!
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:20 AM   #6
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From the article: "The miner bees' gentle nature is characteristic of native bees in general, Mayor said. "People tend to think of bees as being aggressive, but most native pollinators are very docile. They're basically just minding their own business."

Beekeepers (and friends of native pollinators) usually say that most bees are gentle when nectaring/foraging, that solitary bees are generally gentle even at their nest sites, and the more social/colony-forming bees are only really aggressive if you threaten, knowingly or not, their home and family. Even then, social bees defending their homes/families have different levels of aggressiveness depending on the species.

If I remember right it generally has to do with the cost-benefit ratio of protecting the offspring and the individual or colony being able to reproduce (i.e queen only reproduces means more aggressive defense by workers, solitary female needs to live to reproduce means she just tries to get away).

Still, it's always good when native bees, who don't get bonus-points for honey production, get good publicity.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:28 AM   #7
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From the article: "The miner bees' gentle nature is characteristic of native bees in general, Mayor said. "People tend to think of bees as being aggressive, but most native pollinators are very docile. They're basically just minding their own business."

Still, it's always good when native bees, who don't get bonus-points for honey production, get good publicity.
I was happy to read that as well. I guess our native bees, other native pollinators, and native plants might be getting some good PR because of colony colapse sydrome.
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bees, honey, mason, mason bees, miner bees, native bees, osmia lignaria, pollination, pollinators

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