Bee Houses

Bee Houses

Steven’s Woodshop bee houses come in two models in order to cater to human preferences: natural cedar or painted pine with bamboo. Both styles should be hung where they will receive full sun, facing southeast or south, at least a yard off the ground, with no vegetation in front to block the entrances. A small mud patch nearby is helpful, too.

Solitary bees, such as Mason bees, will lay an individual egg in each tunnel, providing it with a mixture of nectar and pollen, and then seal up the entrance with mud. The egg doesn’t take long to hatch into larva, eat the food left by its mom, and then enter the dormant pupae stage for about nine months, after which time it will emerge as an adult to begin the cycle all over again. Bees will take advantage of bee houses until August or September, depending on the species, with the new bees emerging the following spring or summer.

It is important that the bee houses stay dry, but cold, during the winter, so should be moved to an unheated but protected area, such as a shed, porch or garage, by October and remain there until March, when they can be returned to their original sunny location.    

There are hundreds of species of solitary bees, and they come in many sizes. They are harmless to humans and not aggressive; they rarely sting, but if they do, it is not as painful as the sting of a honeybee. They do not live in hives, build honeycombs, or swarm, but are essential pollinators whose numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate. By providing a safe home for new bees to begin their lifecycle, you are encouraging the continuity of the species. Thank you!

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