Mason bee nesting blocks are easy to make. Read the instructions and then watch a video. Your native Mason bee nesting block will be on the job in no time.
Mason Bee Profile
It’s ‘home alone’ for the mason bee. Mason bees, and most of the native bees to North America, are called solitary bees. These native bees do not live in a hive with a queen as European honeybees do. Since they are not social, they don’t need a hive.
They don’t make honey for harvesting, but they are great pollinators and will help your landscape immensely. Far fewer Mason bees are needed to pollinate your garden than with honeybees. It takes fewer than 500 Mason bees to pollinate an entire acre. Also, Mason bees are on the job when it is cold outside and they don’t much care if it’s raining either.
Some other good news is that Mason bees are not aggressive. This makes Mason bees so much safer for children and pets than honeybees. In general they do not sting unless they get stuck in clothing or they are directly handled. You can confidently invite Mason bees to your landscape by making a bee block.
Seven Easy Steps to Build a Better Bee Nesting Block
It is not a difficult process. You need basic materials:
An untreated wood block. You can use a log you found, redwood or cedar, hardwood or pine just as long as it has no chemical preservatives, which would kill the baby bees.
Drill with 5/8 inch bit;
Roofing material—this can be a shingle or a scrap of shelving or plywood that is larger than your wood block;
Wire for hanging
Tin snips or scissors
Decide in advance how you want your block to look. Your holes can be random or symmetrical. Pattern is not important, unless it is part of your design. Make the holes approximately one inch apart.
Mark where you will be drilling your holes.
Don your safety glasses.
Drill the holes until they are ½ inch from the back of the block.
Attach roof with finishing nails. The roof should overhang the face of the block.
Hammer a nail pointing at a downward angle (to avoid piercing a drilled hole) on each side of the block. Attach wire for mounting.
Attach your bee nesting block to a fence, house, deck, etc. within 200 yards of the area you want pollinated. Mason bees like a south or east facing exposure best.
Watch a Video:
A video of the process—have fun!
How to build a Mason Bee House
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