Our Bees are in danger, want to know what you can do to help?
Put up a mason bee house! Mason bee houses need to be maintained and cared for in order for them to actually work, so here is some information on how to host mason bees properly.
Mason bees are solitary bees that are busiest in early spring, pollinating early blooming fruit trees and ornamental plants. At the beginning of spring bees wake up and start mating and need a place for a nesting spot, which could be your mason bee nesting house!
The female bee gathers pollen from flowers, and brings it back to the nest hole, lays her eggs and then plugs the hole with mud. She does this until the chamber is full of egg cocoons. A mason bee can lay around one to two eggs per day for four to six weeks.
Pick the right type of house:
- Do not pick a house with plastic or bamboo tubes(they do not let enough moisture escape)
- Nesting holes should be within 4-10 mm in size and about 6 inches long
- Do not hang (the wind could rock the eggs to death)
- Choose a moderate size house- not too large (mason bees are solitary)
Here is a bee house that meets the criteria
How to place your bee house:
- Put it out in early March
- Mount on South side of a building for the morning warmth of the sun
- Place in a spot protected from the weather
- If there is no mud in your yard, add a pile of mud close by
Maintenance of bee house:
- Once all the holes are plugged with mud, place a mesh bag over the house so that birds do not eat the cocoons
- Take mesh bag off of the bee house in early spring when they start to emerge
- After a couple years throw out or clean and replace tubes (mites and mold cause egg death)
Call me if you have any questions or share with me your bee houses when you put them up! They are also great gifts if you want to buy the house, the mesh bag and I can give you a word document with care instructions if you want one, just let me know!