Mason Bee House Giveaway!

Spring is right around the corner, which means the flowers will be blooming and the bees will be buzzing! If you’ve read my series, America’s Bee Crisis, you might be interested in adding some mason bee houses to your garden. If so, read on!

Mason Bee House GIVEAWAY!

MasonBeeRosemary


Stacking Tray Systems

I have been using stacking tray mason bee houses for several years now and love the results. They are easy to harvest cocoons from, easy to clean, and last for many years. I started out with one, and then purchased a second, plastic stacking tray system. But in my damp climate I soon noticed a problem – they developed mold. I also found that if I stuck some cardboard tubes in with the plastic trays the bees showed a marked preference for the more natural material of the tubes.

Mason bee house with stacking trays.

One of my Crown Bees mason bee house with stacking trays.

Crown Bees
That’s when I discovered Crown Bees, an online retailer of mason bee supplies, based in Woodinville, WA. Crown Bees sells a variety of mason bee houses, including stacking tray systems made from wood. I’m happy to report that my bees love them and they’re just as easy to clean and maintain!

Harvesting mason bee cocoons from tray.

Harvesting mason bee cocoons from wooden tray.

Mason Bee Resource
Crown Bees wants all of their customers to be successful at keeping mason bees. They provide educational materials on their website free of charge, and also send out a monthly newsletter to keep their customers informed about the latest mason bee research, in addition to providing timely reminders for mason bee care. They have enlisted “Citizen Scientists” to join their BeeGAP speakers program to provide useful and accurate information about the mason bee throughout the United States.

Ethical Beekeepers
The world has had a blind spot when it comes to insects, but we’re finally beginning to recognize the critical role they play in the ecosystem. Unfortunately, it’s too late to reverse the damage done by invasive species in the U.S. Scientists can only look on in horror as we lose our native insects to the onslaught of invasives, who are often more aggressive, more prolific, and lack predators. What we can do is not make this problem worse by continuing to send more insects into areas where they don’t belong.

Mason bees are regional – there are west coast bees (Osmia lignaria propinqua) and east coast bees (Osmia lignaria lignaria). Unfortunately, a lot of mason bee retailers have shipped the western bees to eastern states, and continue to do so. This practice can can spread parasites and diseases that the local insects are unable to adapt to. Crown Bees sends bees only to the regions they belong in.

GIVEAWAY!
I’m very pleased to be able to offer a Crown Bees mason bee kit to one lucky reader of my blog! The kit will include:

  • 20 native blue orchard mason bees
  • 1 natural NW pine chalet house
  • 48-hole wood tray
  • 1 InvitaBee, a mason bee attractant
  • 1 HumidiBee, a cocoon humidifier, preventing cocoon dehydration
  • 1 Mason Bees, Gentle-Natured Garden Caretakers pamphlet

That’s everything you need to get successfully raise mason bees in your own backyard. Read more about the Complete Chalet Kit here.

Complete-Chalet-Kit-comp

RULES
Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Open to U.S. residents only.
  2. Residents of Florida and Hawaii are excluded. (Crown Bees doesn’t stock bees native to your states.)
  3. Entry via Rafflecopter only.

GOOD LUCK, EVERYBODY!! 🙂

Legalese
This is not a paid endorsement. I am recommending Crown Bees’ products because I like them and use them myself. I participate in their annual Bee Buyback program. This year I sent them about 800 cocoons, which earned me a credit that I’m using to pay for this giveaway. Pretty cool, huh?

UPDATE
Congratulations to Andy Friesen, winner of the Complete Mason Bee Kit! For everyone else, Crown Bees is offering a coupon code for 5% off your total order. This code is good for the rest of the year. Just enter Killerpickles when checking out: www.crownbees.com. Thanks to everyone who participated!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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21 Responses

  1. gayle hajek says:

    Great giveaway, thanks!
    Good luck everyone!

  2. Donna Hime says:

    Love these bees1

  3. Helen says:

    Thanks for the chance to win. I am putting in apple and cherry trees soon and this would be wonderful. 🙂

  4. JP says:

    Tres cool! Fingers crossed….

  5. ST says:

    I love adding to the biodiversity of my backyard!

  6. Sherrie Tallman says:

    I would love to have Mason bees. My fruit trees NEED them!

  7. JNC says:

    Would love these for my garden.

  8. barbar says:

    Has there been any research to see if the home-keeping of mason bees has helped populations any? I sometimes wonder if I am causing harm because I forget to clean mites off them in the winter and then they spread them to natural nest sites? Maybe I think too much 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      No research on this, but if you’re not taking the time to clean your houses and remove parasites then I think that will have a detrimental effect on local bee populations. I’ve attended lectures by The Xerces Society and they were cautious about promoting mason bee houses for just that reason.

  9. Debbie McDonald says:

    I love the buy back program! Never heard of that before but I’d love to participate, too.

  10. April Hamelink says:

    Great giveaway! Love Mason bees…

  11. Barbara Bowman says:

    I love Mason Bees and Crown Bees! I am starting a small orchard in my yard..I have not seen mason bees here yet (I’ve only had this house a year) but plan on trying to start my own population and do the buy back program..for blue orchard, blueberry bees and later, leafcutters! I need mason bees..hand pollination with a cotton swab just isn’t all that fun!

  12. Buff Holtman says:

    This bee house is easier to work with than tubes.

    Great give away.

    Fingers crossed. ;D

  13. Mandy Erlandson says:

    This will be my second year working with mason bees. I hope to have even more success, last spring was too cold. Great give away! Thank you!

  14. Tracy Colby says:

    Im excited to start our garden and raise Mason bees with my two daughters. I’m hoping they will help our existing fruit trees!!

  15. Wan-Chi Punga says:

    Thanks for this great giveaway!! Great way to promote bees in backyards!

  16. Brenda says:

    What a great opportunity! Thank you!

  17. Serina leedy says:

    Yes please, we love bees!

  18. So enjoyed your mason bee presentation at Drake’s Seven Dees. Thanks for all the information on doing it right. Now I just need the starter kit – fingers crossed!

  19. Ross Foster says:

    I appreciate the efforts you people put in to share mason bees house blogs on such kind of topics, Thanks for this great giveaway!

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