Bug of the Week: Good!
Orchard Mason Bee
There are many varieties of Mason bees that are so beneficial to pollinating fruit trees that they have become known as Orchard bees. These super pollinators are even better than honey bees at pollinating!
These bees show up in early spring to mate and start making their nests. Their favorite food is fruit tree pollen, especially, apple, pear and peach trees.
Their drawback is their short lifespan and they don't make honey. they have fulfilled their destiny by June. Great for fruit trees, but not too good for the rest of the year in your garden.
The good news is that it is VERY easy to keep these bees, just provide a place for them to nest. They live and reproduce in cracks in wood, so reproducing this using lumber that you drill a grouping of six inch deep holes does the trick. And, unless you grab them and squeeze, their not going to sting you.
You can purchase a ready made home and "Mason bees in a can" from an online source. But, be aware that you should order the species for your area. Make sure the seller you purchase from asks you where you live and sends you the right type of bee fore your area.