Mason Bees Move In!

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.

Mason Bee Tubes

Mason Bee Tubes

I prepared to write about my disappointment when the enlarged photo revealed this:

Mason Bee Tubes

Mason Bee Tubes
Space Still Available

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.

12 thoughts on “Mason Bees Move In!

  1. How interesting! I’ve read oodles of books etcetera on honey bees and have two honey bee hives but have never read a thing about mason bees. Now I have something to research, thank you!


    • I love the idea of keeping hives. Someday, maybe when my boys are a bit older, I will tackle that endeavor. Lucky you!

      And thank you, too, for doing your part to propagate bees. They need all the help they can get.


      • If your kids aren’t allergic, you may want to think about bee hives. My 3-almost-4 year old is as enchanted with them as I am. She’s even gotten stung, and after the tears dried, she was only worried that the maybe it had been the queen that had stung her and would die!


        • Oh how sweet. You are raising compassionate children. My younger son has been stung before so I know he’s not allergic. I’ve been stung three times over many years and did have a bad reaction once, but nothing as serious as an allergy. A bee flew into my car and get caught in my sleeve. I was stung the week before in a grassy field on the end of my toe. I must have unwittingly kicked the poor bee. I’ve often thought that the accumulation of two stings in one week brought on the flu-like symptoms, but since I was fine the next day I didn’t give it another thought.

          Bees are fascinating.


  2. All of your articles fascinate me. I’m learning so much even though I don’t comment on each one. You are like a walking, working encyclopedia. If we lose bees, I think we can lose life itself. They are necessary to our survival through their pollination. Thanks for keeping me informed.


    • Thank you so much for reading and for commenting. It means the world to me that you enjoy my blog. I learn every day too. The blogging community is quite expansive and accepting.

      Bees are critical to our future. It’s alarming to read of their demise. I hope we can quickly turn that around.


  3. Those are really affordable, and stylish too. thanks for all the detailed info, I popped by that ‘Do-it-yourself’ Danica. She’s really a funny girl. Handy and humorous, I like her.


  4. I’d never heard of mason bees before and they’re not on the Insects of Alberta website I’ve been referencing as I’ve been trying to learn about the bees in our yard this spring and summer. It seems they can be found in Alberta and since Mr. GeoK is handy with the tools, there just may be a new task on his “honey do” list after I learn some more about bee blocks!


    • I don’t think Mason Bees get much press. I’m glad you discovered them here. We’ll have to keep spreading the word, one blog at a time. Please let me know if you put up a bee block in your garden.

      Thanks for stopping by gardeningnirvana.


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