Best bees to buy for pollinating a deck garden

Asked March 2, 2016, 3:22 PM EST

I moved to Maple Grove 2 years ago and tried my first container garden last summer on my deck. I did not have any luck with zucchini or cucumbers which I attribute to the lack of pollinators. After I realized that towards the end of summer, I tried manual pollination and got 1 cucumber! Now knowing this, I would like to try buying some bees (either Mason bees or Leaf Cutter bees from the little bit of research I've done so far) to assure that I get some vegetables this year. What do you recommend? Thank you for your advice! Jo Belvedere belve003@umn.edu

Hennepin County Minnesota mason bees

4 Responses

Thank you for your quick reply. So are you recommending Mason bees over leaf cutter bees? Does it matter?

The Mason bees are listed as excellent pollinators but the leaf Cutters aren't rated so I guess you should go with the Masons.
I did find this verbiage. "Leafcutter Bees - also called Mason bees belong to a large family of bees named Megachiledae (large jaws), one of the largest families of indigenous bees, with over 600 recognized species in North America. The bees described on this page are all members of this same family group and are considered to be indigenous to the North Shore and surrounding area unless otherwise noted."

Thank you very much for your help! Happy spring!