mason bees

Mason bees fill up their nests

No Vacancy at the mason bee condo

It took them awhile, but the entire condo is filled–as well as the tubes they hatched from. A job well done. I will miss these little bees who are around for such a very short time.

No Vacancy


  • I love my mason bees. I took a 4 foot long 4″X6″ block and drilled the prescribed size holes in it, 5/16ths, I believe. Took me two days and nearly wore me to a nub! I then attached it to my green bean trellis, facing east for the morning sun. Then, I read somewhere that wooden blocks are a bad way to make a Mason Bee home. Is this true? I had maybe 10-15 over winter there this past winter. They seemed to do just fine. Is someone just trying to sell tubes or what? I mean, they nest in old logs or whatever they can find.

    • Doug,

      I’ve heard wood is bad, reeds are bad, and tubes are bad. But until someone proves it to me–or at least explains their reasoning–I will continue to use wooden blocks. The bees seem to love them.

  • I think my big wooden block is a great mason bee home also. When it gets too clogged up, I’m going to wait til nobody is home, and use my pressure washer to blast it clean. Maybe use a light, light bleach water also. That should keep it nice and sanitary for them.

    By the way, I’m letting a patch of parsnips go to seed, and the masons absotively, posolutly LOVE them. It looks like a mason bee traffic jam all over them, all day, everyday. Honey bees not so much.

  • Hi Doug,

    We have 2 apple trees and we bought 16 mason bees 2 years ago. This summer was somethings else. I have never seen so many apples on 2 trees. We have given away bags of apples, but now I have been making apple juice. My question is this: I have 2 bird boxes and today I noticed that there are 2-3 wild bee nests in the bird boxes. I will not kill the bees. Can I place these bird boxes close to the mason bee “box” or will the wild bees fight and kill the mason next summer.

    Nanaimo B.C. Canada

    • I don’t think wild bees will kill your mason bees, but birds nesting in the bird box might eat your wild bees. I wouldn’t worry about it in any case.

  • I made my first mason bee block last spring by gluing 1 X 6 pieces of wood together and adding a back, roof and wire front. I am in N. VA so I was not sure that it would work. I used the wrong type drill bit, so the holes were not all 5/16″ and not as deep as desired. I had little hope for success. Turns out I am not as bright as bees. All holes filled up and I am waiting for this spring. I built another block for this year out of a split log and the holes are much better. I am hoping for a good crop of bees to pollinate my assorted fruit trees and veggies.

    • Charlie,

      As you found out the bees are very adaptable. The bit sizes and hole lengths are only approximations because they don’t have drills and tape measures. Good luck with your bees and your garden.

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