Mason Bee Revolution: How the Hardest Working Bee Can Save the World - One Backyard at a Time
The national media regularly features dire stories on honeybee colony collapse and its danger to our food supply. But there's another, unsung bee that has the potential to save the planet--the mason bee. Mason Bee Revolution explains how docile, hard-working, solitary mason bees (and their compatriots, the leafcutter bees) are even more productive pollinators than honeybees, and keeping them can be a fun, easy, backyard hobby for gardeners, conservationists, foodies, and families everywhere. Why these bees? Bee pollination is critical for about 80 percent of US agricultural crops, increasing crop value by an estimated $15 billion annually. Since 2006, nearly a third of all honeybee hives have been lost each year, due to parasites, pesticides, habitat loss, climate change, and a newer malady called Colony Collapse Disorder. While scientists search for answers to save the honeybee, Dave Hunter and his company, Crown Bees, are leading the effort to increase the population of other highly efficient pollinators: One mason bee can produce twelve pounds of cherries, via pollination, where it would take sixty honey bees to achieve the same. Mason Bee Revolution is an easy-to-follow guide to keeping both mason and leafcutter bees. It tells you how to set up, care for, and harvest your own bees and what types of plants and habitat encourage mason and leafcutter bees, as well as provides general information on other common pollinators and bee-related facts, projects, and personalities.