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LEARN: 4. How to Raise Spring Mason Bees
4.2 Spring: Bee House Set Up
4.2 Spring: Bee House Set Up
Hole-nesting bees need a bee house to protect their nesting holes from wind, rain, and if necessary, birds.
The bee house should provide a little spot for the cocoons to emerge and a roof that is 2-3” longer than the nesting holes.
If you paint the bee house, allow plenty of time, about a month, for the paint to cure because the smell of wet paint may deter the bees.
Orientation: Bees are cold-blooded and mason bees need the warmth of the morning sun to get started. Select a site that is south to southeast facing.
Location: Install the bee house on a sturdy wall, fence or tree - bees do not like swinging in the breeze. Mason bees only fly about 300ft (100m) in search of nectar and pollen, so place their house near where you need pollination.
Height: At eye-level, about 5ft (1.5m) off the ground to protect from small animals. These bees are fun to watch!
Place Nesting Holes
- Mason bees prefer nesting holes with an 8mm diameter opening.
Our solitary mason bees build their nests inside of nesting holes, also known as nesting materials. Each female bee will claim one nesting hole as her own and she can fill two or more nesting holes before her work is done. In the wild, a nesting hole is naturally closed at one end, like a grub hole in dead wood or a broken hollow stem. Spring mason bees do not cause damage to wood or furniture, instead they are nesting inside of existing holes that another creature created.
Pro Tip:To prevent disease and pest build up, choose healthy nesting materials that are the right thickness, can be opened and cleaned, and at the very least, replaced every year. Crown Bees nesting materials are designed with the bee’s health in mind.
Provide 1 nesting hole for each cocoon, both male and female.
Ensure the front open end of the nesting hole faces the outside of the bee house.
Tuck the nesting holes towards the back of the house as far as possible to protect against wind and rain.
Bees use visual cues first and then scent to find their individual nesting hole.
Reusable Wood Tray: The cardboard backing helps to encourage the bees to nest.
The burnishing on the front helps mason bees to identify their home.
Easy-Tear Insert Refills: Designed to be used with a protective paper BeeTube or as a liner inside of a drilled block of wood. Do not use insert refills without a protective layer because pests can penetrate the insert’s thin paper wall.
Bird Protection: If needed, choose bird wire or hardwire cloth with 3/4" openings and loosely create a 3" bubble around the front of the house. Do not install the wire flush against the nesting materials because this keeps bees from being able to get in, too.