I have an interest in food plants. If we can produce more food in urban areas, sustainably, AND provide food for wild bees, we are really getting somewhere.
So I've been keeping my eye on berry plants this year: strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. These plants do attract bees with their nectar (and pollen) rewards, and generally require pollinators to make great fruit.
One goal of the mason bee study is to see if introduced mason bees visit berry plants in people's backyards. If they don't, which wild bees do?
Strawberries have been flowering for some time. I don't see many bees on strawberry flowers in people's yards, though. Why is that? My theory is the blooms are just not visible enough in these small patches.. The little white flowers are scattered here and there, hidden among the leaves. Bees are more likely to find showier displays. Or maybe a field of strawberries.
Raspberries and blackberries are in the same genus, Rubus, which includes many other berry plants. The raspberries in Salt Lake have just started flowering. I observed a patch the other day, but I only saw one bee. Our familiar friend that makes honey. Better luck next time...