Mason Bee Keeping


If I were to buy mason bees would I purchase western or easterns for use in Nebraska? Are the Rocky Mountains the dividing line?


Here’s mine from Costco. $14.


Great info link. I’ve had two boxes ready for three years and just have not put them out. Where I need to put them my neighbor has a fence and keeps spraying insecticides all summer so I was not interested in doing that. I think he is moving so I will try putting them up this year. After reading this information I need to get them out and put them up.


i made my boxes out of cedar and use dead canes of japanese knotweed for tubes. they’re free and work great to collect cocoons as they split easily. if a pencil can just slip in them they are the right size. mountainwestmasonbees has the cheapest priced cocoons. $20 for 20 cocoons and $8 shipping.


If you see tall coffee cans, they work great. The regular size is too short, but the tall ones are like 8-9 inches tall. That way you can fit your 6" tubes, and have a bit of room for roof shelter in front. I often put netting so the birds and squirrels don’t get in there and take the tubes out.
John S


First year with Mason Bees. They are still dormant in my fridge. Anyone around Philly putting them out yet? The house is set up but still seems a little cold maybe.


Mine hatched in the fridge almost a month ago - WAY too early


where did you order them from? if they are harvested from your climate zone or similar, they shouldn’t hatch early, from what i read. mine came from n. idaho so should be about the same hatch time for n. maine. heard that you can dip a cotton ball in diluted honey to keep them alive till’ you can release them.


according to bugnet they’re ranges
over lap so it doesn’t make any difference. make sure they are sourced from your climate zone or similar to make sure they hatch at the right time. i got mine at sourced from idaho so should be similar to maine hatch times.


they say constant day temps in the 50’s. you guys must be close as we’re in the low 40’s. id wait till i see something like cherry blooming before setting out so they have something to eat.


Good tip!

I’ve had these bees for several years, I harvested them myself.

I’m not aware of any supplier that offers right-coast bees


I bought from and they offer both eastern mason and western mason bees.


That’s where I bought mine, but I don’t recall them offering eastern bees at that time


I bought them online at masonbees online. They are eastern Mason Bees. We have forecasted temps in the 60s and 50s so I put them out tomorrow after the rain. My plum tree hasn’t opened its flowers yet so I think I’m good.


So today it warmed up and my “dead” bees revived. No blossoms for them yet, but I think I won’t bother placing a last-minute order for new ones


the eastern and western masons overlap each others range so not as important as when you put them out.


Not only are most of mine hornfaced bees, descendants of my very first batch, but they seem to have been the survivors of the long frozen famine. I didn’t notice any active mason bees when I checked today.


I put out 19 cocoons when I noticed a bee in the nesting box i put out. Apple’s were at silver tip. That was about a month ago. Last year I had two bees and two holes plugged. This year so far I have 5 holes plugged and three bees still working in my old nest box. I also have two holes plugged and two bees still working in a new nest I made this year. I’ve seen masons on my apple and blueberry flowers. They are mostly black with some faint green irridescence. Not sure of the species.


sounds like blue orchard masons. they’re the most common bees here next to the bumbles.


Wish I would have had a camera with me today at the farm. One dandelion had a single bloom and it was all out “war” by the solitary bees trying to get a spot on the flower!:grin: