Bees are an essential part of our ecological system. Without them, there would be little or no cross-pollination of plants and without this, plants are unable to set seed and fruit. They are the reason our flower beds are packed with flowers in the summer and without these beautiful creatures, vegetables and fruit trees would be barren. By placing a bee box in your garden or yard, you will be helping bees to survive.
Red mason bees require a box packed with hollow pipes as their ideal nesting environment – cut lengths of bamboo are ideal. They lay their eggs singly with a plug of mud between each one and a supply of nectar or pollen to sustain the larvae. They like to use holes in rotten wood or thick stems for nesting; brambles and hogweed make good homes for them to tenant.
The Wildlife Mason Bee Box is an exclusive, solitary bee home designed to attract bees such as the Red Mason or Orchard Bee which are non-swarming varieties.These groups are especially attracted to holes in wood and the Wildlife Mason Box provides an ideal environment which is becoming harder to find naturally in modern gardens – we gardeners have become tidy creatures but unfortunately that’s not what most Mason Bees need. By providing a box however we can ensure the continuation of the species – it’s also an extremely attractive feature to have in the garden.
The special design of the Wildlife Mason Bee Box is made from durable FSC timber and can be located in a variety of ways:
Hung from the rear hanger
Remove the rear hanger and screw the box to a wall or fence so that its base is located against that wall or fence
Located on its base
The box should be hung or placed so that the open front is pointing downward to keep rain out. Mason Bees have a preference for their home to be off the ground so the box is ideally placed when fixed to a post or tree.
The nester contains different sized cardboard tubes/specifically drilled canes which are ideal for the Mason Bees to lay their eggs. The tubes are packed tightly thus resisting removal by woodpeckers, which are a natural predator of Mason Bees in particular.
The box should ideally be sited in a warm spot in your garden, preferably in a south-facing direction to hopefully catch the sun in the morning. Unlike their larger cousins the Bumble Bee, Mason Bees are happy to bask in the warmth of direct sunlight. Once Mason Bees become established tenants in the box, their numbers will steadily grow in years to come.
They like to have a regular food supply within easy reach of their home – if you don’t already have a bee cafe, try locating the box close to a place they’ll be foraging for food – flower beds, near to a wall with a plant climbing up or even beneath a hedge. It’s possible that the bees will have sub-tenants – mice often use bee boxes for nesting. If that happens, simply leave their nesting materials in place – they will make good use of it the following year.