|Tuesday Products: Mason Bee Houses|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 01 May 2012|
It might seem funny that Iím writing about bee houses and promoting bees when just a few weeks ago I was writing about the waspinator as a way to get rid of wasps and yellow jackets, but they are two different subjects entirely. Mason bees are native throughout most of the US. They are smaller than honeybees and dark blue-black in color. They are not aggressive and do not sting unless provoked. More importantly, they are prolific pollinators in the garden. Providing a home for mason bees is yet another way of improving your backyard wildlife habitat.
Mason bee houses, sometimes referred to as mason bee blocks, come in a variety of styles, but most look like what I call small apartment buildings like the one pictured above or like this one made from bamboo:
Mason Bee House
Most of the bee houses are made from bamboo or from a combination of wood and polypropylene thatís recyclable, and is the same material that straws are made from. Female mason bees, the primary pollinators, lay their eggs in the tubes and use the structures to raise more bees.
Rest assured, having a mason bee house in your garden does not mean that you will become a beekeeper or that you will be inundated by swarms of bees. When the tubes become occupied, the other mason bees will move on to find other homes. Of course, if you havenít provided a food source, i.e. a variety of native flowers, then your efforts to provide ďbee housingĒ for these important pollinators will be in vain.
Photo source: www.masonbeehomes.com