While honeybees tend to be the real stars of beekeeping, mason bees are also a great bee to raise. Mason bees do not produce honey, but they are great pollinators and are very easy to care for. This article will discuss the differences between mason bees and honey bees, the benefits of mason bees, and compare a few mason bee hives for sale.
What is a Mason Bee?
Mason bees are named because they use mud and masonry to build their nests. They typically like nesting in small, dark spaces, such as cracks in the wall, or hollowed out tubes.
The biggest difference between mason bees and honey bees is that mason bees are solitary. Mason bees do not live in a hive and each female is fertile. She builds her own nest and gathers her own food.
After mating, the female begins collecting pollen and nectar. She takes it back to her nesting site and lays an egg. Then she builds a wall of mud, closing the egg in. The female continues this process several times until the tube is filled. She will then plug the tube with mud and nest elsewhere.
Because mason bees are solitary, they do not produce honey or beeswax. However, mason bees are very gentle and rarely ever sting.
Benefits of Mason Bees
Mason Bees are great pollinators. They do exceptionally well pollinating spring flowering fruit, berries, and nuts. They also visit a wide variety of flowers, making them expert cross pollinators. Just 2 mason bees are needed to pollinate an entire apple tree.
They are so docile that you can be around them without fear of getting stung. No bee suits or protective gear needed here! Mason bees are also considered to be hardier than honey bees. They are less susceptible to disease and are immune to varroa mites.
Raising mason bees requires very little equipment compared to honey bees. All you need is a simple bee house and nesting tubes. Once that is set up you can wait for bees to come, or buy mason bee cocoons. Mason bee hives for sale are usually bought online.
Mason Bee Hives for Sale
|Gardener’s Supply Company Mason Bee House||-Measurements 5-3/4″ W x 10″ H x 5-3/4″ D|
-Easy to hang
-Lasts 2 years
|Cestari Mason Bee House||-Comes in 4 colors – green, blue, grey, and pink|
-Contains 75 bamboo tubes
-Sturdy and durable
|Pine Wood||Check Prices|
|Welliver Outdoors Standard Mason Bee House||-Contains removable paper tubes|
-Tubes are 6 inches long
-Thick and sturdy structure
|Cedar Wood||Check Prices|
|Wildlife World Interactive Bee House||-Fully removable inspection trays for easy viewing|
-Attracts mason and other solitary bees
-Supplied to top wildlife conservation organizations
|FSC certified sustainable timber||Check Prices|
- Measurements 5-3/4″ W x 10″ H x 5-3/4″ D
- Made from natural bamboo
This mason bee hive for sale is a good, simple, and affordable choice. It is quick and easy to hang and would work best in a sheltered area, protected from wind and rain. This mason bee house is flimsier than wooden ones and can be expected to last about 2 years.
- Hand crafted from FSC certified pine wood
- 75 bamboo tubes
- Comes in 4 colors – green, blue, grey, and pink
This mason bee house is made by Cestari Bee Houses. It is really attractive looking and would be a nice decorative touch to a garden. Hand crafted from pine wood, this bee house is sturdy and durable. It houses approximately 75 bamboo tubes that are 4 inches long – sufficient depth for mason bees to lay their eggs.
The overlapping roof protects bee nests from wind and rain. I really like the design of this mason bee hive and the fact that it comes in multiple colors.
- Removable paper tubes
- Made of cedar wood
The biggest difference between the Welliver mason bee house and the previous two are that this one makes use of paper tubes instead of bamboo. The paper tubes are thought to be more sanitary than bamboo because they can be fully replaced after a season or two. Replacing the tubes regularly prevents parasite infestation in the hive.
This hive contains 86 paper tubes, measuring nearly 6 inches long. The wooden house structure is thick and sturdy. This mason bee house for sale does not include anything to hang it, so it would have to be placed on something, or you can attach a hook on your own.
- Fully removable inspection trays for easy viewing
- Constructed from FSC certified sustainable timber
- Supplied to top wildlife conservation organizations
This is a really interesting mason bee hive for sale because it is designed in a way that allows you to observe the bee nests. Not only does this hive attract mason bees, it also attracts other solitary bees such as the leafcutter bee.
The trays come apart easily, allowing you to inspect or clean them out. This is a great hive that can be used for both education and entertainment. The construction is solid and durable. Wildlife World is committed to keeping to a high environmental standards, so recycled materials are used when possible.
Mason bees are a power pollinator. Because they are solitary, mason bees are easier and cheaper to raise than honey bees. There are several different mason bee hives for sale with different features. No matter which one you choose, I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching them at your home.