Re: [gardeners] In the garden - Wednesday

George Shirley (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 18:24:22 -0500

Linda Baranowski-Smith wrote:
> > <snip> Nearly every flower had a mason
> >or orchard bee hanging in it snoozing. Pretty neat, looked like little
> >yellow and black striped fuzzies snoozing on a pillow. Once the sun is
> >fully out the girls will go back to work pollinating. Reckon I'm gonna
> >have to make some more nest blocks for them as the ones I had out are
> >full already.  <snip>
> >
> >Since we don't see many honey bees around anymore I encourage the mason
> >and orchard bees by providing nest blocks for them and we have a lot of
> >them pollinating things around here on a regular basis.
> George, seeing the mention of mason bees reminds me that we have to put
> ours to bed in the fridge about now.  Do you make your own nesting blocks
> for the mason bees?  If so, what kind of wood do you use?  To increase our
> population, we made some nesting blocks from aged pine and the bees seemed
> to prefer the old housing projects over the new.
> Linda in NW Ohio near Toledo/Lake Erie, USDA Zone 5

Anything that's untreated with preservatives and the older the better. I
made mine from an old cedar 4X4 gate post I found when we moved here.
Actually had two of them that I salvaged about 12 feet of post from.
Bees seem to like the older wood just like you said. I've seen the
commercial nesting blocks made from fir but I don't use the paper tubes
they put in those. Looks like a good idea though. We don't put them up
in the fridge like folks do further north. Our winters are mostly mild
so I hang the blocks in the carport up out of the wind and they seem to
do okay. I think you're right though, the older the wood the better.