Fruit trees blooming

Some of our fruit trees are blooming. I checked the orchard bee box to see if any of the mason bees had left.

Orchard bee house

Sure enough, I found holes in the tubes so the bees must be out and working.

Orchard bees have left the house

Hopefully they do a good job as I am looking forward to a bigger fruit harvest this year.

Pear tree blooming

I’m working on fertilizing the trees and mowing the orchard. Then we will need to prune some trees. Yes, we are a little late on the pruning.

Flowering fruit tree

This entry was posted in Beekeeping, Gardening. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Fruit trees blooming

  1. Missy says:

    Beautiful blooms! And nice mason bee house, did you make it? I’ve been looking for plans on how to make one. I hope they’re working hard, we all need a good harvest this year!

    • lee says:

      Yes, I built the mason bee box two years ago in the spring. I did a lot of research before settling on this design, although I never finished the blog post about it. The wood blocks are drilled through and lined with the paper tubes (which are clamped off in the back). The idea is that the tubes can be removed at the end of the season and the mason bee larvae stored in your fridge (which reduces predation against them and allows you to clean out the box for next year), but I haven’t actually tried that.

  2. Nate says:

    How did you build your bee box? And did you buy bees or were they wild ones that came in?

    • lee says:

      The bee box is the plywood frame you see here, glued and screwed together with a cedar shingle roof, and then modular blocks where the bees lay their egg and seal off the tubes with mud. The most basic module would be a block of wood with holes drilled almost all the way through. These can never be cleaned, so they eventually stop working for the bees. The next step up is the drilled-through block with paper tubes as I described above. My favorite design uses trays with square slots cut with a dado blade which are then clamped together. I didn’t have any dry stable wood to use for it the first year, so I chose this simpler design with the plan that I’d upgrade to the tray-based design eventually.

      We did buy some mason bees on discount at a gardening store (which inspired the bee box), but I later learned it’s a waste of money. There are native mason bees (and other solitary pollinators) already present in most areas, so if you build an appropriate box they will use it.

  3. Ali says:

    I was at a pruning workshop this weekend, and the instructor said “the best time to prune is when your clippers are in your hand.”

  4. it is much easier to prune with clippers in your hand. I was using clippers as a boomerang one time..not the best time to prune. For the record my proctologist told me the best time to prune was the morning..I will stop there ( but not due to prunes )..groan.

    • lee says:

      As long as the clipper boomerang incident was completely unrelated to the proctologist visit, you’re probably doing okay. ­čÖé

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *