News — Invasive Species

Bee Informed: Non-Native Mason Bees, Bees: The Unsung Vineyard Hero, and The World's Highest Concentration of Bee Species

Bee Informed: Non-Native Mason Bees, Bees: The Unsung Vineyard Hero, and The World's Highest Concentration of Bee Species

Each month our Bee Informed Blog highlights current news, science, and research related to solitary bee conservation, food insecurity, and sustainability. 1. Is This Non-Native Mason Bee an Invasive Species? (Entomology Today, By John P. Roche, Ph.D.) The mason bee Osmia taurus, a native of eastern Asia, was first discovered in the United States in 2002 in Maryland and West Virginia. Once here, its population increased rapidly, and it is now found from Florida to New Hampshire in the eastern U.S. The closely related non-native beeOsmia cornifrons was brought to the U.S. in 1978 to increase pollination in fruit orchards. But unlike...

Read more →


5 Tips To Winterize Your Garden

5 Tips To Winterize Your Garden

Just as you winterize your home to make it more efficient, you can do the same for your garden. Properly winterizing your garden will help your plots rejuvenate naturally and reduce the amount of work you'll have to do in the spring, allowing you to jump right into the fun part, PLANTING! Before we jump into our tips, you may wonder if sustainable gardening is essential for small backyard gardens. Using sustainable gardening practices, we become examples for future generations of gardeners by showing them that growing food or creating space for new gardens does not have to mean harming...

Read more →


Houdini Fly Alert for Mason Bee Raisers

Houdini Fly Alert for Mason Bee Raisers

We love mason bees for many reasons! They're early spring pollinators, a lot of fun to watch, and require very little maintenance compared to honey bees, making them perfect bees for busy gardeners and farmers. Traditionally, spring mason bee care included three simple steps. Step one, Install the mason bee house—step two, release mason bee cocoons. Step three, sit back and relax while these super pollinators do their thing. However, the Houdini Fly, an invasive parasite of the mason bee, has added an important new step to our care routine! What is the Houdini fly? Cacoxenus indagator, more commonly called...

Read more →


How To - A Guide to Native Plant Gardening

How To - A Guide to Native Plant Gardening

Native plants are plants that have evolved over hundreds or thousands of years in particular regions or ecosystems. In the United States, only plants found in this country before European settlement are considered native. Native plants provide numerous benefits: Native plants provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native insects, birds, and other animals. Non-natives do not always provide the necessary nutrients for our native animals to thrive. Native plants can help you save money and water. Since native plants are adapted to local soils and climates, they don't require as much water and fertilizer as non-natives....

Read more →