Mason Bee House - - Where to position?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAMarch 18, 2010

I could go to the Bee Forum, but thought I would ask here first. I just received a belated Christ*mas present, a Mason Bee House. Very excited about it. I thought about raising bees many times, but I just can't make that much of a commitment. I thought this would be almost as good. I'm happy with the product. The tubes are made of bamboo which I think should work out well. I don't want to put it on the house because of vinyl siding. I wonder if I should hang it from a tree branch or attach it to the fence. Any ideas?

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Well, thank you for the introduction to Mason Bee H*uses, heretofor unknown
to me. . .when I first re*ad your post, I had visions of someone cleverly reusing
a Mason jar as a bee habitat !

But: a Google search not only told me all about them, but unveiled a posting
by the National Wildlife Federation explaining how to build Mason bee h*uses
yourself from scrap lumber - right up my alley. . . In their instructions, the NWF recommends placing the h*uses on the south side (sunny?) of buildings, fence posts or trees.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 8:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Carl, lol....I am enjoying the vision of bees in a Mason Jar. Oh fortunate one, to be handy enough to make them yourself! :-) For those who can't make them, mine was purchased at Gar*dener's Supply and the link is below. The tubes are all bam*boo and it was very reasonably priced.

Thanks for info on where to position, Carl. My south side of the house is shaded by trees, so I am going to have to scout around but at least I know where to look for a place. It should be interesting to see how these work out this season.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardener's Supply -- Mason Bee House

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Carl, you might also find this link interesting. I ran across some you tube videos of how they clean them out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mason Bee Houses on You Tube

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:50AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

PM2, you will have to let us know how you fare with this. I have been considering one of those houses for YEARS, and just have never gotten around to it - one reason for my hesitation is wondering where I would put it! So I would love to live vicariously through you and see how yours did.

Carl, I think you have PLENTY of time to start making them now, and then have enough to hand out at the spring swap.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 11:33AM
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O.K. You've tipped me over the edge - I am now obsessed with my mason bee
building project ! The YouTube video that you linked me to shows the easiest
and simplest design; the fact that it's just 2" wide means that you can easily hang it on ANY vertical 4x4 post in your garden - fence, arbor, birdhouse post, you name it.

But the other link to Garden Supply: that bamboo design is just SO cool that
I'm going to have to order one of those as well ! Thanks for all the info.....


    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 6:22PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Dee, I will try to take photos and notes to post so you can see how it is going, one way or the other. If your experience is anything like mine, I have noticed a decline in the population of bees here and with all the reports of hive deaths, I would love to do something to support bees. In our suburban neighborhood on small lots, I don't see many places that bees could build nests. I just couldn't do Bee Hives at this point, but these Mason Bee Houses seem doable.

Carl, I didn't see the 2" wide house, that sounds very interesting. I'll have to go back and check that out. Looking forward to photos of your efforts.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 7:53AM
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indy76km(5 - Rumford, ME)

Did you order some bees to go with it or is there some trick to luring them into the new bee house? I was looking at the houses and the same site also sold bees to go with it but you had to order before march 1st so it is too late to order bees but if they will move in on their own maybe I can still order the house?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 1:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

indy, I didn't see that they sold bees, but I think people are trying to house 'native' mason bees. So they erect the house and hope for occupants. At least that is what I am trying to do. I did do a little more looking and I found this Q/A on the UBC Botanical site linked below in which they discuss the houses and placement of the houses, but no mention of purchasing bees. I'm still looking further. I did see that they suggest getting them up by the end of March. Some people suggest the Southern exposure and some east. It is also recommended to place them under an overhang to keep them dry, which I don't have. This house actually has a metal hoop to hang it from a tree, but I am wondering if motion from the wind will bother them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mason Bee Houses - UBC Botanical Garden Forums

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 8:07AM
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I just bought morgan bee house and also purchased some bees as a "starter kit" from

I am just starting out and appreciate the comments about positioning.

1 Like    Bookmark   last Saturday at 4:03PM
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persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Prairiemoon2: Mom has been considering buying the exact same Mason Bee House. I told her not to be so dazzled by the nice looking wood and interesting shapes. I wasn't sure if Mason Bees even occupied our garden. Let us all know how you fare. Memory serves me that you live near me (Bristol County?) so I'd be interested in how it works out for someone close by.

An unrelated note: Those xmas cactus clippings you traded me are finally taking off with tremendous growth. It took them a bit to adjust to their new home but I'm happy to report we had zero casualties.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 8:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Persimmons, I had forgotten about this thread. That particular bee house, was a complete flop. Not any interest in it at all. The year after that I bought a different wooden house and same thing again. I haven't given up though. I'm planning on adding an even bigger mason house and placing it very carefully, hopefully this year, if I can get it in time.

The XMas Cactus Clippings are a mystery to me? lol I don't think I did give you those. I can't remember the last time I had a Christmas Cactus. But I'm happy that yours are doing well! :-)

I would love to hear how anyone else fairs with their mason bee house.

    Bookmark   19 hours ago
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I wonder if it just takes time. Like birds ignoring the birdhouse or feeder for a year (or more) then when the stars are right (by their reckoning) there they are!

    Bookmark   14 hours ago
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That's a possibility, Marie. I'll get to see if that works this year. I still have last year's mason bee house in place. I'll see how that goes. Good point.

    Bookmark   10 hours ago
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