Search Articles

Instructions for the Mason Bee House

Mason Bee House

Orchard mason bees are small bees native to North America and are very good pollinators for flowers and fruit trees. They visit as many a 1,000 blooms per day.

Mason bees do not use hives like honeybees. In nature, mason bees place their eggs in holes drilled by beetles or woodpeckers. The bees will also use spaces between roof shingles or other narrow openings around the garden.

The Mason Bee House is a bundle of bamboo tubes that provide a place for mason bees to reproduce and gather pollen and nectar for their young. After laying eggs, the adults die, leaving a new generation to take over.

Mounting the Bee House

The Bee House should be placed against a flat surface and located in an area protected from high winds. The front of the house should have a south or southwest exposure where it will get the most sun in winter to keep bees warm.

After bees mate, the female places eggs in the bamboo tubes. Each egg is separated by nectar and pollen—it is at this time that the bees’ pollen-gathering also pollinates plants.

After the pollen and nectar is placed, the female places a mud plug in the tube (hence the term “mason”), then repeats the process with more eggs, pollen, nectar and plugs. When the tube is full, she finishes with a heavy mud plug and her work is done.

In the spring, the mature bees emerge from the tubes. Males exit first. Females emerge after males because the eggs are placed deeper in the tubes. This is a protective measure, assuring a good female population to help keep the species going.

Share This Article

Sign Up for E-mail

Get the latest news, tips and gardening info!

Sign Up
Looking for Product Instructions?

Assembly instructions, diagrams and other types of product information are available on product pages. To find it, search for the product, go to the product page and click on the "How-To and Instructions" tab.

100% Employee-Owned

Gardener's Supply employee-owners are encouraged to learn about all aspects of our business, be active participants in our future and contribute to its success.

Learn More

Learn and Share

Our website is packed with how-tos and inspiration, as well as opportunities to share with fellow gardeners. Check back often to view new articles, videos, blog posts and Facebook updates and join our online community.

Learn & Share

Talk to a Gardener

Our staff of gardeners is here to help with your order and your gardening challenges. Backed by our 100% guarantee and a wealth of horticultural knowledge, our employee-owners are happy to assist you.

Customer Service