Mason Bee Revolution: How the hardest working bee can save the world one backyard at a time, by Dave Hunter & Jill Lightner

My Copy: 9781594859632 (image from bn.com)

I was so glad to find this book while I was starting to work on my pollinator garden and the bee houses. It’s got a slew of information about pollination and the bees themselves, but also things to watch out for in your yard or garden if you want to be more wildlife friendly.

Mason Bee Revolution gives a lot more info about bees (naturally), but ones most of us don’t know exist beyond the bumblebee or the honeybee. The book focuses on the more common “solitary” bees, bees that don’t have a single queen and a bunch of males around to protect her, ready to sting the crap out of you. There’s so much most of us don’t know unless we’re trying to work outside in nature more, and this has been an enlightening text.

It’s not comprehensive by any stretch, and is rather broad. There IS plenty of good info about how to harvest the bees and keep them protected from predators when they go into cocoons and then how to get them ready to come out. I think it could have been a bit more user-friendly in this regard, but again, it’s broad strokes. I would’ve preferred some diagrams and step-by-step. It’s still a good resource so if you have questions about why something happens or what issues to look for to prevent fungus or other parasites from killing them.

Mason Bee Revolution also has plenty of information on agricultural practices and how changes have come along, the plight of the bees and efforts to bring them back, permaculture vs. polyculture farming, other pollinators, ways to protect bees, environmental effects on bee populations, etc. This book has so much to start with if you have questions, and if you want to know where you can go to help bees or help scientists record data on behavior, toward the end is some info (check your websites, of course) on how to become part of it.

I know this book certainly made me want to get more involved in helping nature, even if it’s just in my yard. Thankfully, I live out county and don’t know a single person that puts anything more than starting fertilizer and fire ant killer in their yard, though now I’m wondering about the mosquito trucks that come around sometimes. Hope that stuff doesn’t hurt the bees.

It’s a good resource if you want to know more about the less familiar pollinating insects that keep our food supply alive. I’m keeping it close for reference.

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