Yup, the little critters that flit from flower to flower so that we can enjoy spectacular blooms, delicious fruits, and farm fresh veggies have their own appreciation week.
Here at Dunrovin Station, we are happy to have pollinators of all shapes and sizes. We have a 4 acre hay meadow full of not only prairie grasses, but also many species of flowering wildflowers.
We also have a half acre bee meadow full of wildflowers and clover, and the rows between the apple trees are allowed to go wild, which provides the pollinators not only more places to play, but draws them towards our fruit trees and then further down the hill towards the garden.
To further encourage pollinators, I have built a bee house. Yes, that's a real thing. I would LOVE to have a bee hive and enjoy the harvest of sticky, golden bee spit. The local community college even has a long term class on beekeeping, which ends with you having your own hive. However, I don't think taking on yet another project or learning experience right now is the way to go. So I might look into that for next year.
I still want to encourage pollinators, especially honey bees. But until then, I will house Mason bees. These little bees are fabulous things. They don't swarm, and they don't sting. They simply flit around pollinating things, all they ask is for a place to live. So wish granted.
I built a shelter and provided a waterer. The logs are covered in 5/16" holes, with no rough jagged edges. They are situated so that they are out of the sun and wind, and are protected from the harshest of the rains. And of course, are in the middle of a meadow! The water container is an old chicken waterer, which had seen better days and was covered in rust. I sanded it down and painted it. We've had so much rain that I haven't had to fill it. The edge keeps refilling itself. Painted white and bright red, I've even seen hummingbirds stopping by for happy hour.
You can buy Mason bee houses, which are about the size of a bird house and filled with 5/16th" wood/ composite straws. (I have no affiliation with any of these sellers.) There are some cute ones on Easy, and Pinterest, and are available all over the internet. Either way, your Mason bees will love you for it.
For more information on how to encourage pollinators in your yard, contact your local extension office. A simple google search will send you in the right direction, or check out the Pollinator Partnership.
I went out to take some sunset photos this evening (16 June) and found this..! The bees have found us and are moving IN!