Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.
For gardeners curious about mason bees or building pollinator havens in general, Mason Bee Revolution is a lovely new book from Dave Hunter and Jill Lightner. The passion that the authors have for the topic at hand is infectious. Why keep mason bees? Compared to honey bees, it turns out that these pollinators are lower-maintenance, cheaper, and will pollinate more plants per insect than honey bees. They are also docile and child-friendly.
This book is filled with small projects, practical how-to information, and suggested resources from the home beekeeper. The real strength of this book is the practical, easy-to-follow instructions about setting up nesting sites and habitat for mason bees and leafcutter bees. Materials, site requirements, harvesting cocoons, and over-winter storage are all topics that the authors address. There is a lot of information, but it is easy to follow. Although the book is 154 pages there are points when the narrative meanders slightly, and there is occasional repetition.
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