Cedar Moon Mason Bees
2016-17 price list
Mason bee cocoons (hand-cleaned and sorted; please specify species):
Box of 10 .......... $12
Box of 20 .......... $22
Bulk (50+) .......... $1 per bee
Supplies are limited. To order, please use our ONLINE ORDER FORM, or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible!
Mason Bee Fact Sheet
What are Mason Bees?
As solitary bees (as opposed to bees that live in hives), mason bees build nests separately and only live a one-year cycle. The blue orchard mason bee, Osmia lignaria, is native to North America and metallic blue in color. Osmia cornifrons, the hornfaced bee, is a species originally from Japan with similar behaviors, and is now naturalized throughout the Eastern US (and more recently, many Western states as well).
What do they do for my ecosystem?
Mason bees focus their pollination upon fruit crops, but will visit other plants as well. They emerge from hibernation – depending on the weather – in early spring, and mate and nest through mid-summer. Typically, they emerge earlier than most other pollinators, and are therefore able to pollinate plants other bees do not get to.
But will they produce honey/wax/any other product I can use?
No. Mason bees are not honey bees: they don’t aggregate in social swarms, they do not build their own shelter out of wax and they do not convert nectar into honey. Their primary function in an ecosystem is to pollinate like crazy!
Then why would I want to buy them?
Much of the native bee population in urban spaces has been obliterated through habitat destruction and contact with pesticides, with the result that many plants go under-pollinated, thereby producing less food for the people. Additionally, many of the companies rearing mason bees sell them to monocropped fruit plantations, which often do not have the diversity of food sources necessary to truly nourish pollinator populations.
Cultivating native bee habitat and populations is thus an essential element in our society's transition from industrial agriculture to localized, regenerative healthy food systems. Your participation in our business works to support both the ecosystemic recovery of the Cascadia bioregion as well as the economic health of a local worker collective and community.
So how do I take care of them?
Instructions on care for the bees will be included with your order. Basically, you put them outside in the springtime and let them live their lives. Providing housing in the form of 3/8” holes is the main need. And flowers.
Are they safe to have around children?
Yes! Mason bees virtually never sting, even when threatened by a rowdy ruckus.
Will I have to buy more every year?
If you provide clean & appropriate housing, mason bees can increase their population every year by a factor of 3 to 10. A collection of 30 cocoons could easily turn into 200 cocoons after one year of raising bees.
What do you mean when you say you clean your bees?
Mason bees, like many other pollinator species, are beset by disease and parasites. In order to not spread these further, we inspect and clean our cocoons before putting them on the market.
What is Cedar Moon?
Cedar Moon is a 20-person intentional community and worker collective that shares 7 acres of land with our nonhuman allies in SW Portland. As well as operating several cottage industries and raising bees, chickens, and goats, we coordinate a sustainability education center and host programs such as an outdoor immersion Waldorf kindergarten.
To order online, use our online portal.
Cedar Moon LLC · 11640 SW Boones Ferry Road · 503.244.1776 · email@example.com