Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Building a Mason Bee Haus

Finding your own space is hard when you’re a city bee. And it’s not the cost of living in Vancouver that’s the problem.
By building mason bee homes for bees we create a safe space that brings the bees closer to a food source (because commuting long distances is tiring for insects too), and it helps decrease the potential threat of pests (less break-ins).

This is a standard mason bee house.

The house design is meant to mimic what bees look for in nature. The roof of course is shelter from the rain, but more detailed things are key for bees, like a good landing pad. By making the length of the frame bigger than the trays (you see them stacked in the house) you give the bees a place to land where they can take a breather before climbing into their holes.

Each tray has a row of channels that from the outside look like rows of holes when the trays are stacked. The channels are generally 5-6 inches deep; this gives the mason bees space to lay their eggs. Every website we came across about mason bee house design said to make the diameter of the holes 5/16 of an inch… I’m not sure how they figured this number out (picturing mason bees with little tape measures going from tree to tree).

Here is a video for a mason bee retailer that makes pretty spiffy houses. She gives a great visual breakdown on what a good mason bee house looks like.

Stay tuned for pictures of the mason bee house design chosen for the event!

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