Orchard Mason Bees (Osmia ligneria) are small, black, gentle bees. These native bees are excellent pollinators -- their primary purpose in life. Orchard Mason Bees build their nests in holes in wood, not in hives for producing honey. Native to most of the continental U.S., they are not social bees like honey bees, and will not bother humans or pets.
We ship the bees in 3 tubes (generally 4 are females), November 1st - March 1st, while they are in a state of deep hibernation. When the weather warms in early spring, the hibernating bees emerge from their holes. They will need a nesting block with holes in which to live and breed. You can purchase just the nesting tubes or a cedar shelter with nesting tubes included.
We also recommend Brian Griffin’s wonderful book, The Orchard Mason Bee.
Photograph on black by Sue Boo available under a Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0.
Not recommended for Gulf Coastal Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or S. Florida.
Price includes delivery via Priority Mail (US Postal Service) either to your mailbox, or to a Post Office box.
Insects are sent out Monday through Wednesday. Place your order at least 3 business days in advance of desired shipping date (Monday holidays will delay processing of order). Unless you specify otherwise, we will send your Beneficial Insects on the next possible shipping day. You could also request delayed delivery in the Order-Specific Comments box. We can only accept ship dates up to three weeks out.
These creatures will die if left in direct sunlight or in a rural mailbox on a hot afternoon, or in cold weather. We only guarantee viability if someone accepts and inspects the insects immediately upon delivery. You must contact us immediately upon delivery if you suspect a viability problem. Because of this, often the best address to use is a work address. If the Post Office is instructed to leave the package in a cool, safe place and it’s for a short period of time, viability should not be compromised, but cannot be guaranteed. If no one is available and no instructions have been left, delivery may be re-attempted the next business day. However, viability may be compromised and will not be guaranteed.