Orchard Mason bee in Northern California

Anyone here from Northern California who had luck with orchard mason bees? I tried it this year but I didn’t get any cocoons. I’m in 9b. I just want to increase the chance of getting my home orchard pollinated. Thank you!

They’ll come.

Don’t make the mistake of getting one of those mason bee hotels with capacity for a bunch of them. They are solitary by nature and getting them crammed in a small area can lead to them getting sick an infecting each other.


I bought 100 this year and I didn’t get a single cocoon. I will try again this year. Looking for someone here in Northern california or 9b zone that had success with mason bees.

Keep them up by some flowers, fruit trees, etc. It may take a little bit to get them to come to your mason bee houses.

Thank you. But it looks like a bad sign no one from Northern California recommended it. Maybe it doesn’t thrive here.

For what it’s worth, we have plenty of wild mason bees here in coastal Marin County - I see them in my orchard and in my wife’s CA native garden. Both the green mason bees and the blue orchard bees are present. Our climate’s a bit different from yours, though.

That’s is really good to hear. Thanks for that info. I will try it again this year and put it in different location.

My neighbor has those store bought nest. After several years still nothing. We have lots of masons though. As a matter of fact they do most of my pollinating. The fat honey bees don’t show up until the late flowering trees.

Check out what is supposed to be pollinating which tree or bush, some plants have better relationships with certain insects. In my neck of the woods bumblebees are the workhorse of haskap pollination while honey bees do most of the heavy lifting on the raspberries and apples. Most nuts (like filberts) are wind pollinated, they may have insects picking their pollen but they may not even be a factor in the fruit pollination.

Thanks for that info. I will pay more attention this spring.