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shhhhhoe2 karma

You don't need to buy any hives or special products to help bees. The most important things you can do on your property are to stop using insecticides, plant native flowers and shrubs, and leave some areas of your property in a natural, unmanaged state. If you do that, native bees will show up on their own.

shhhhhoe1 karma

While developing alternative agricultural pollinators is important, I feel like you are being a bit disingenuous about your whole process.

On your website you highlight the benefits of pollination services of your bees for regular gardeners, but probably 99% of them are already getting all their pollination needs met by native bees and they're just not aware of it. Also, you say that 2/3 of the bee species you use are not native to the US. I think that artificially inflating the number of non-native bees is more likely to hurt than help our native pollinators.

It seems to me that you are trying to take advantage of peoples general feelings of goodwill towards pollinators in order to further your own commercial aims. How does pushing unnecessary pollination services of non-native pollinators help bees?

shhhhhoe1 karma

The website doesn't say that that I'm aware of.

On your website one of the first items in big bold text is "Increase your fruit and garden harvest with Mason Bees." Who is that aimed towards other than regular gardeners?

In the spring, most bees have not emerged to handle the early spring orchards.

Like I said in my previous comment, I agree that developing alternative agricultural pollinators is important. In large monoculture orchards, there usually is a pollination deficit and managed bees makes sense in that setting. If you are talking about someone's backyard, they will not have a pollination deficit.

I don't quite agree with you. Similar to the UK, we've knocked off most of our bees due to lack of habitat, available food, and chemicals.

This statement is completely false. There are certainly some high profile declines of some bee species, but we have not even come close to having "knocked off most of our bees." Can you provide even a single citation to back up your claim?

If today there are non-native bees mixed with native, there's nothing we can do about it but accept that that is the current situation.

I disagree that having non-native bees already present in the environment means it's okay to artificially propagate more of them.

Win for the gardener due to excess food in the yard

This is exactly the kind of disingenuous claim I'm talking about. Regular gardeners already have sufficient pollination services from native bees without importing additional mason bees.

Look to your yard. If you have apples and cherry trees, are we saying pull them out so that you're completely native? Both were imported, both are important to our food selection today.

You are missing my point. I'm not saying that plants and animals are intrinsically bad because they are non-native. I am saying that it is disingenuous to push non-native pollinators when native ones are already sufficient. If you only have a few apple or cherry trees in your backyard, you most likely already have sufficient native bees present and don't need to import additional bees to pollinate them.

My whole problem with your approach is that you are falsely claiming that your bees provide pollination benefits to a regular backyard gardener. Particularly since native bees, and even wild mason bees, are already present and providing all the pollination services your average gardener needs.