mason bees

Mason bee condo filling up

Although I haven’t actually seen many mason bees around, it is easy to see they’ve been hard at work. This mason bee condo was empty two weeks ago. Now there’s only two spaces left and the lower one has a mason bee in it. The tubes on the left are where they hatched, and those are filling up again too. I have other condos, but this one is sheltered by an eave and they seem to like it the best.

Mason bee condo nearly full.


  • I have seen a lot of my mason bees in the past week and a half. (finally) but they are slower to fill holes than yours are apparently.

  • Dear Rusty, I couldn’t figure out where the blog was that we were discussing emergent boxes. After I last posted to you, the next day I was in our local recycling retail store and spotted this wooden treat box. It was $2.99. It is a little dilapidated but I will clean it up and then use it for an emergent box this coming spring. I will drill a couple of holes in it towards the side that I use for the floor. I will have to figure out where to position it near to the mason bee house that I will hang nearby as soon as the apple trees blossom in Vermont (I believe that is the right time here). What size drill bit should I use? 3/8th?

    I don’t know how to attach a photo of the treat box. I will try to email you directly and attach there.

    Emergence box.

  • Thank you, Rusty. I have both sizes. In meantime, I found a medium sized hand carved jewelry box for $2.99 that I will convert to a box for this.

  • Here in Vermont we have three major recycling stores, Goodwill, ReStore, and ReSource. The latter two do a fantastic job of taking in, storing, and selling all kinds of building materials, old barn board, studding, plywood, tools, hardware, you name it, as well as regular items such as dishes, collectibles, office equipment,etc.

    I found brand new double paned windows for $2.00 each to replace broken windows on my barn. I find all kinds of cool vases, beer steins, porcelain water bottles, to make into mason bee houses. And I sell them at craft shows. Now I will add emergent boxes to my “product line”. I made safe houses for storing the cocoons and tubes in the refrigerator, out of Rubbermaid food storage containers at the $1 store, drilled holes in the cover, glued a piece of sponge on the underside to add a little moisture. Hobbies don’t have to rob you blind.

    • Patricia,

      Do you have pictures of these creations? I would love to see them and perhaps write a post, showing what can be done. I am fascinated and I’m sure other people would be interested as well.

  • Yes, I will be happy to share some pictures. Is the best way to email you directly and then attach the images? I have to email one or two at a time since AOL limits the capacity for sending pictures.

    Out here we are going into the Vermont fall craft season now and I’ll be focusing on making new mason bee houses.

    • Patricia,

      Excellent. I saw the first images and now I want to make some! Yes, emailing is fine, or if you have a DropBox account, you can use that.

  • So pleased that you like them. I am learning how to drill small holes into glass, ceramics and plastic in order to hang horizontally, some unique vases, steins, and such that are long enough to hold the right length of nest tubes. I will take a photo of the small beer stein that I have hanging in an apple tree.
    I will look into a Drop Box account. Not familiar with this feature.

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