Importing Mason Bees?

Asked December 12, 2015, 1:47 PM EST

Hello,
I am interested in bringing bees into my yard. I am considering purchasing mason bees from a provider from Washington state. However, in researching this topic, I found a site which shares some expert advise stating that a person should be cautious about importing bees from a different geographic area that do not work well in your area. Here is the site with some specific information:
http://everydaygardener.com/do-your-homework-before-ordering-mason-bees/

So I would like to know what type of mason bees I should bring into my area from out of state and what I might need to be careful about? I do not want to create any more difficulties for existing bees. Please have a real expert attend to this question as I am asking for real, factual, known information, .. not opinion.
Thank you very much.

Arapahoe County Colorado bees

1 Response

I have finally had a chance today to visit the CSU Museum and check which mason bees are native to the state.

There are close to 50 Osmia species that have been recorded from the state, At least two of the three subspecies of the "blue orchard mason bee" Osmia lignaria are native to the state.

So, in answer to your question about whether there is a risk of introducing novel pathogens/pests with bringing in blue orchard mason bees into Colorado, that is probably not a significant risk.

On the other hand, you may just wish to just try to provide improved habitat for Osmia species that are already present, and native, to where you live. The drilled nest blocks or tubes should work for these as well. In other words, see what is already present in your site.