Craft a cute and cozy mason bee home with materials you have on hand.
We may not always think about it, but bees do important work for our gardens and backyards – and for the planet. One of the hardest-working pollinators around is the mason bee, a mild-mannered species that does an excellent job of cross-pollination.
You can encourage mason bees to take up residence in your own backyard by building a DIY mason bee house using materials you probably already have on hand. Follow our step-by-step guide to make an inviting mason bee house that these helpful insects will be eager to move into.
If you are using a non-paper-based container, thoroughly clean it inside and out with Home Made Simple Dish Soap. Made with plant-based ingredients, this dish soap provides a powerful clean without phosphates, dyes, parabens, phthalates or gluten.
If using an empty coffee can or similar, remove the lid but leave the bottom intact. If using a flowerpot, cover the drainage hole with paper and tape.
You can also choose to paint the bee house exterior if desired. Mason bees are drawn to bright colors, so choose a bold shade.
Create a sturdy nesting tube by rolling a sheet of brown paper snugly around a pencil, wooden dowel or marker. Secure the tube with a few pieces of tape, and gently slide it off the pencil or dowel. Close one end of the tube by covering it with tape. Vary the sizes of the tubes by using different widths of writing utensils or dowels.
Tip: If you’re short on time, you can purchase ready-made nesting tubes at your local hardware or gardening supply store.
Place the rolls inside your container, with the closed ends at the bottom of the container. Trim tubes so they are flush with the container opening. Fit as many tubes as possible within the container so they are snug and don’t shift around.
Fill in gaps between the tubes with small handfuls of peat moss. Moss will help insulate the bee house, providing a comfortable environment for the bees. Then give the grime on your workspace a run for its money with our Home Made Simple Multi-Purpose Spray – it’s made with plant-based ingredients that are ready to tackle messes large and small.
Choose a south-facing spot in your yard that is protected from rain, and hang it at about eye level. Trees and fence posts are natural choices if available.
Safety Tip: While mason bees tend to be less aggressive than other bee species, it’s important to keep children away from the bee house. Place it far away from favorite play areas. Talk with your kids about how to be safe around bees, and set a good example by exercising caution yourself.
Once you have built and installed the mason bee house, it’s natural to want bees to move in right away! Encourage them to visit your yard with these tips: