Why should I avoid using bamboo nesting tubes or drilled blocks of wood?

Why should I avoid using bamboo nesting tubes or drilled blocks of wood?

Bamboo is a nesting material that is as hard as wood and it is difficult to open to harvest cocoons. Many bamboo nesting holes have openings that are too large for our mason or leafcutter bees to use. The tubes inside of most bamboo bee houses are also too shallow and the bamboo tubes are cut randomly, leaving nodes that make the bamboo tube even shorter than the optimal length of 6”.

While mason bees may use a large nesting hole, they inefficiently spend much more time gathering mud than laying eggs. Because bamboo is extremely strong and hard to open, it is difficult to harvest cocoons to ensure the health of your bees.

Drilled blocks of wood, while easy to build, cause the same issues with pest build-up. Consider lining the drilled holes with our 8mm insert liners that can be removed each season.

We recommend that you move your mason or leafcutter bees to a nesting material that you can easily open to harvest cocoons. You can follow the tips in our Moving Day for Native Bees blog post.