Mason Bee Keeping


If you have any you did better than I did. They rejected my quickly built mason be house.


Mine are still flying around,when the temps get over 60F,but it’s been lower than that usually and they aren’t filling up the tubes so much,with all their busyness.There is warmer weather coming. Brady


Mine are done for the year now. They filled up two houses completely but reject the third.

They Say not to move the houses when the larvae are feeding, they get jostled away from their pollen ball. Don’t know if this is really so.


Looks like my mason’s are done for the season. My experiment appears to have been a success so far. I put three houses out at my place and had activity at all three. One had two holes capped, one had six and the other had twenty. Should be a good amount of bees here next year if they all make it. Fun project, they are very captivating to watch. This winter I plan on making some houses out of grooved boards (like speedster1 pictured) using my router table.


I only have one filled tube and a partial in the house I put out, but I’ve seen some around my house. I don’t know where they are nesting, although I may have seen one fly into a square hold in the frame around our vinyl windows.


If those are permanent installations, you might consider putting some fine mesh over the house to keep out the predatory wasps


@speedster1, consider putting up a hardware cloth mesh in front to keep out the woodpeckers!


No mason bee or honey bee activity here so far. Thank goodness the the big old fat bumble bee! Without these guys I’d have no fruit! They also LOVE honey berries / haskasps which start flowering about 1-2 weeks before my plums so the bees are habituated to keep coming back. The muscari I have planted helps too and makes things pretty as well.


I have paid a special attention to the pollinators this year. In general I have very little activity in spring on my suburbia place. Only occasional flies did something at the temperatures of 50-60s. Later when the weather reached 60-70s I had many tiny black bees which I identified as alfafa leaf cutting bees. They were great pollinators but they worked only during the warm weather and they got very sluggish when the temperatures reached 55 F. Nobody settled in my house made out of wooden blocks. So next year I will probably order some blue mason bees. Even if they need extra care, it will be worth it if they can work in 50-60s range when most of my trees are in bloom.


Odd - I’ve had leafcutters use my nesting holes


I have been checking my mason bee house daily and I haven’t seen any signs of activity and then it happened. No bee activity was observed prior so I’m wondering if this is a mason bee or just another insect that likes holes in a log.


That’s kind of odd.My Masons activity was done over a month ago.Brady


Could be leafcutter?


just finishing here. i have 4 blocks. but I’m in z 3b.


Auburn, my mason bee holes/nests (in two different places) have been taken up by a solitary bee/wasp insect; it’s colors and designs look a lot like a yellow jacket. I don’t have any photos of the insect, but here’s a photo of the nests so you can compare the plugs to yours.

I emailed this second photo to someone at Crown Bees and he said the plug looked like a mason bee plug. But this year this yellow jacket looking bee/wasp seemed to take over all of the holes (their activity ended about 6 weeks ago) in both locations (which are only 14 feet apart). The plugs look different from one photo to the other, but I’ve seen the yellow jacket looking thing at both locations. Also, I’ve never bought any mason bees, and I don’t know if there are any in the area.


Spotted a very beautiful mason bee today. It has shiny green back.


Beautiful pictures Antmary. Maybe someone will get inspired to take care of mason bees based on the beauty of your photos.
John S


That’s interesting looking.The ones around here don’t have those stripes on the abdomen.Could that be a Megachile or leafcutter bee? Brady


Mason bee house update. I have one more occupant today. Early trend is about one addition per month. Sure hope these are mason bees instead of pest.


Yes in Canada I’ve had my apricots pollinated by mostly mason bees and I get a good to great crop of cots every year (knock on wood). I highly recommend mason bees for anyone cause they’re far superior as pollinators and native bees to boot. Don’t sting so even with a preschool in the connected duplex, I never have to worry about kids getting stung even with 6 MB houses now. Mine have small aluminum roofs and are screwed at the top of the south facing wall of my she’d right under the eaves to protect them from rain but still get max sun and warmth.