How 6 months ago
admin #howto

How to Attract Mason Bees

Find a natural block of wood—about 5–6 inches (13–15 cm) in width and height, and 7 inches (18 cm) in depth—and use a drill to create holes that are 0.3 inches (0.76 cm) in diameter, the perfect size for bees. Drill the holes roughly 6 inches (15 cm) deep, being careful not to drill all the way through the block of wood.



Create a nest by drilling holes into a block of non-treated wood.

Find a natural block of wood—about 5–6 inches (13–15 cm) in width and height, and 7 inches (18 cm) in depth—and use a drill to create holes that are 0.3 inches (0.76 cm) in diameter, the perfect size for bees. Drill the holes roughly 6 inches (15 cm) deep, being careful not to drill all the way through the block of wood.



Make a nest out of clean drinking straws for a quick fix.

Find empty, clean containers, such as a food can or milk carton, to put the straws in. Stack the straws on top of one another to create as many tubes as possible. Try to use paper straws if possible, gluing them to the bottom of the container with a non-toxic glue. Make the straws at least 1 centimetre (0.39 in) shorter than the container to help protect them.



Purchase a pre-made bee house for a long-lasting, more durable nest.

You can buy nests for bees at gardening centers or online that will be easier to clean and longer lasting. Choose from homes such as stackable wood nesting trays, paper tubes, or bundles of reeds.



Mount the nest in a secure, warm spot 4–7 feet (1.2–2.1 m) off the ground.

The nest should be facing the warmth of the morning sun, and it needs to be protected from rain and wind. Mount the nest on the side of a building, tree, or fence where it will get the proper warmth and protection.



Include plants that bloom at different times throughout the year.

By planting a wide variety of plants that don’t all bloom at the same time, the bees will have a constant source of pollen. You could consider planting things like asters, poppies, black-eyed Susans, or alyssum.



Opt for composite flowers with open petals.

These flowers only have 1 ring of petals, making it much easier for the mason bees to get to the pollen. Deeper flowers with lots of rings of petals make it difficult for the bees to reach the pollen.



Create large sections of flowers to encourage foraging.

If you only plant a couple flowers to attract the mason bees, you’re less likely to satisfy their curiosity and food needs. Plant large groups of 1 type of flower, or many types, together so that the bees are able to easily see and smell the flowers, while also giving them lots of pollen options.



Grow blue, purple, and yellow flowers to attract the bees.

While bees love lots of types of colorful plants, they’re attracted to these colors, along with white, the most. Choose bright blues, purples, and yellows to plant in your garden, if possible.



Avoid using pesticides on your flowers.

It’s best to avoid using pesticides on your garden in general, but this is especially important if you’re trying to attract bees that will be eating the pollen.



Create a clay-mud source within 50 feet (15 m) of the nest.

The mason bees need mud nearby to use it when they divide the chambers of their nest. They’ll need to make many trips back and forth, so provide a mud source close to the nest for them, either by making your own mud source or buying a mud mix.



Dig a shallow hole and line it with plastic.



Fill the hole with soil.



Keep the mud source moist throughout the season.

It’s important that the mud source not dry up so that the bees can easily use it. Monitor the mud source to ensure that it’s still wet, either allowing rainfall to keep it moist, or adding water to the soil yourself.



Buy a mason bee mud mix for an easy mud source.

If you go online, you can find several different kinds of mud mixes specifically designed for bees. This option is good if you don’t have access to soil, or just want an easy mud fix. Follow the directions on the box, most likely adding the mix to your soil to provide more clay.

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