Do mason or leafcutter bees work in greenhouses?

Greenhouses can be difficult habitats for raising hole-nesting bees. A single female mason or leafcutter bee is able to visit 2,000 or more open flowers per day. A greenhouse needs to offer enough open flowers, natural nest building materials, and provide UV rays for bees.

All bees have three simple eyes that they use to polarize UV rays and they use polarized light for navigating. If your greenhouse glass or plastic filters UV rays it will confuse or impair your bees.

We also find that native bees tend to not prefer a confined area and may sit staring outside at an upper corner of a greenhouse. Larger greenhouses with UV translucent panels potentially 20' x 50' may be more suitable and have the bees nest.

We suggest placing your bee house outside of the greenhouse and keep a door or vent open. If you must raise bees inside your greenhouse, make sure that you offer a variety of blooms and clayey mud for mason bees and the right leaves for leafcutter bees. Your greenhouse bee population would be smaller than a population raised outside.