Advice from Darren Morgan –
Now summer is here, and you’re sitting back enjoying the fruits – literally – of the labor your mason bees did for you this spring: cherries, and blueberries, and fresh plums and peaches. It’s a great time to watch the garden develop, and ponder those inevitable western Oregon veggie questions: is the first cucumber going to set before my lettuce bolts? and am I really going to get any melons this year?
While you can’t do anything about the inconsistencies of our summer weather, you can improve your odds of successful pollination and fruit set in your squash, melon, and cucumber plants by encouraging and hosting leafcutter bees. These solitary native bees are late emerging pollinators, waiting until temperatures settle into the 80 degree range to finish incubating – perfect timing for your vining veggies.
Here are a few tips to encourage a good population of these gentle and beneficial insects:
*Be careful about pesticide use. Use less toxic and shorter duration insecticides when necessary, and spray in the evening after bees have gone home for the night.
See us for all your pollinator needs – honey bee supplies, native bee nesting tubes, butterfly host plants, and more!