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LH 94: The Magic of Mason Bees

How Mason Bees Can Save Your Food Garden & The World

As a visitor to this website, you probably are someone who cares about where your food comes from.

And you may have your own garden in order to have more control over your food sources and to enjoy the flavors of homegrown produce.

And you are probably aware of just how important bees are to the pollination of our homegrown food.

But the thing is…

When it comes to pollination, people first think of honeybees. But, we can’t all keep honeybees in our backyards, can we?

They need to be properly supported and managed. And even if we wanted to make the commitment, we may not have the space or proper location. (I’ve covered backyard honeybees in other episodes, see below)


That’s why I wanted to do an episode on mason bees.

They can take a lot less care than a honeybee. And yet, they can still have a significant impact.

The bottom line is that mason bees can help you grow more food in the same space you already have. And that’s a good thing!

In this week’s podcast, I interview Dave Hunter of Crown Bees and he gives us the whole scoop on mason bees, why they are important and how we can help them thrive.


You will learn:

  • Why these gentle bees are so valuable to us
  • The difference between honey and mason bees
  • The mason bee’s secret to massive pollination
  • Why it’s important to identify what makes holes in leaves in your garden
  • How mason bees can be like zucchini (ha ha)
  • How we can participate in a citizen science project to help bees
  • The easy way you can raise and share these bees with friends


Dave Hunter:

Dave is the founder/owner of a Washington State business called Crown Bees that opened their doors in 2008. Their mission is to provide more food for the world using hole-nesting gentle bees.

Crown Bees supplies native bees, products, and great education through an online website and hundreds of nurseries across the US and Canada.

One of their key features is that they care about what they sell. They send out a monthly BeeMail newsletter telling their readers exactly what to do and expect each month for raising hole-nesting bees.

Dave founded the commercial mason bee industry in 2009 which operates as the Orchard Bee Association and was the president for the first three years.

Dave is also on an advisory board to a multiyear USDA “Integrated Crop Pollination” project and is a member of the World Osmia Council. He recently co-authored the book “The Mason Bee Revolution” and loves talking about the future of bees.

Resources & Links Mentioned:

Crown Bees  Dave’s Company

More Pollination = More Food – Blog Post

Raising Bees – Step By Step Article

Native Bee Network – Citizen Scientist Project


Other Related Podcast Episodes:

Backyard Beekeeping 101 – Episode 59

Creating a Bee Friendly Food Garden – Episode 21

Behind the Scenes of Backyard Beekeeping – Episode 15



Click here for the full transcript for Episode #94

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.