This photo represents a good idea… and insufficient research.
After building and installing the attractive, kid-friendly bee houses on the right, we discovered that plastic straws are NOT good for the health and well being of the bees we were hoping to attract and protect. Despite our good intentions, it turns out that paper, bamboo and wood are much better options for orchard mason bee nests.
We built these two years ago and have since replaced the plastic straws with hollow twigs. If we construct any more bee boxes, they will probably be more akin to the older, straw-free one on the left.
For a fun Earth Day project—or just to learn more about these beneficial pollinators and why you’d want to build a nest suitable for attracting them to your yard—please refer to one or more of the following sites.
Great Info on Mason Bees
Do It Yourself Instructions
NC State University: How to Raise and Manage Orchard Mason Bees for the Home Garden
NWF: How to Build a Bee House
USDA: Building a Nesting Block
Tall Clover Farm: Baked Beans, Bamboo & Bees: Recipe for a Mason Orchard Bee Home
Ideas from the Marketplace
House of Bees: Natural Beekeeping & Gardening for Bees
Beediverse: examples of different house styles
Knox Cellars: The Bee Chalet (another type of house)
© Liesl K. Bohan | TipsnTidbits.com