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Native Orchard Mason Bees are widespread throughout North America. They are superb early season pollinators of fruit trees, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries-and better than honeybees, because the Masons' active in colder temperatures and their hairy bodies carry more of the pollen that fertilizes your blossoms. Each female Orchard Bee makes her own nest in a series of tubes, sealed with mud. They are useful, small and docile-and they hardly ever sting unless severely provoked.
In nature, female mason bees lay their eggs in hollow plant stems, insect holes, dead trees, even under house shingles. Finding such places is hard work! By putting up our nest kits, you are providing an easy, ideal, "ready-made" home for the bees until they "hatch out" the following spring. They will repay your kindness by pollinating your early spring fruits and berries. And, they like company. Once the nest kits have been discovered, they'll tell all of their friends!
You can attract them to your garden with our nesting kits that provide exactly the right size holes the Orchard Bees are seeking in early Spring, in which to lay their eggs. Place the nest kit in a sheltered, sunny spot facing East or South to catch the morning sun. Under the eaves of a shed or garage is an ideal location and be sure to avoid direct exposure to rain. The mud filled tubs can be ruined if they get soaked.
Extensive research by USDA has found that 6" long cardboard tubes about 5/16" in diameter are preferred by the bees over 4" holes drilled in wood blocks. The longer 6" tubes also insure a higher female ratio in the six or seven egg compartments-when compared to 4" long tubes.
Our Mason Nest Houses have a weatherproof housing molded from all-green materials (Rice hulls and Bamboo). The 6" cardboard nesting tubes are made from Kraft paper, clear wrapped for moisture resistance. Both the tubes and housing are made from eco-friendly biodegradable materials. Each Nest Kit comes with an informative leaflet about Orchard Mason Bees.