We provide two types of pollinators to growers and gardeners in the Pacific Northwest. These bees may be unfamiliar to most, as they do not look or act like honey bees or bumble bees. They are non-aggressive, don't produce honey, and are safe to have around kids and pets. Their sole job in life is to pollinate. Gardeners love their effectiveness which is proven by the bounty in their gardens and orchards. Click on the photo of either bee to learn more about its habitat preferences and foraging habits. See our plant list here of common plants that provide pollen in the spring time that support mason bee foraging.
Osmia lignaria, also known as the blue orchard bees or mason bee, is a native solitary bee in
the Pacific Northwest. It is prized by gardeners and fruit growers due to its pollination activity in the spring.
This bee flies in April and May when fruit trees are in bloom. It can be identified
by its metallic blue/black appearance, segmented antennae and two sets of wings.
Megachile rotundata, or leafcutter bee is also a solitary bee, closely related to the mason bee.
It flies in July and August, making it an ideal summer pollinator. The leafcutter bee
is very much like a mason bee but smaller and brown with stripes on the underside of its abdomen.