I snapped this photo of our Mason Bee Habitat, unaware that several of the tubes were already filled. We mounted the tubes to the side of the house above the vegetable garden last summer, but never saw any activity.
I prepared to write about my disappointment when the enlarged photo revealed this:
Those clever Masons have been nesting away while I had my nose to the ground, planting.
We bought our Orcon PlanBee! kit at Yamagamis Nursery, along with a book by Christopher O’Toole called The Mason Bees, Taking the Sting Out of Beekeeping. Mason bees live in holes like hollowed-out twigs or reeds, so they are easily attracted to nesting tubes like the ones pictured above. Blue orchard and horn-faced bees are spring season pollinators and will only sting if squeezed or stepped on. They don’t have a queen, so no hive to protect. They are both beneficial and docile.
You can read more about these beneficial Mason Bees and their nesting habits in this wiki article. Resources, below, for buying or making a nesting box of your own.