In forums, on Youtube and our Facebook page, people are naturally asking ‘How do I encourage mason bees into my garden?’ Well I was lucky enough to already have my bees already nesting in the sandy mortar in between the bricks of my family house. However, 7 years on I can offer a little basic checklist to first-timers (which I will no doubt will evolve as I better structure it and people contribute):
- An East or South-East facing, vertical sunny wall that’s not too exposed (humidity/wind)
- Acceptable nesting cavities or tunnels (reeds, straws, trays or drilled wood lined with paper)
- Tunnels at least 10cm long (preferably 15cm) closed at back so that the bees feel it’s safe for their offspring
- Internal tunnel diameters from 4 to 10 mm – often the width of a pencil around 7mm is good
- Adequate sources of nectar (e.g. fruit tree blossoms) throughout the period that the species nest (at least a month)
- Source of nesting materials. If you want mason bees, there has to be a source of mud.
I will develop this post better, here, in time. Any other things I have missed?