Serving Vancouver Island Since 2009




If you ordered bees store them in the crisper section of the fridge with the leafy veggies, a bar type fridge that is not frost free or outside in a dry location that is subject to ambient temperatures such as a wood shed, ensure the bees are in a mouse proof container. The bees can take mild freezing but below minus 10 degrees Celcius they must be protected from the extreme cold. When spring blossoms start to appear open the small box and set the bees into the house with the tubes or wooden nesting block.

If you ordered tubes, insert the white paper liners into the cardboard tubes, insert until the end of the paper liner is flush with the end of the cardboard tube.

You can fold the ¼ inch of the exposed white paper liner over which will seal the tube on the one end. Place the folded end of the tubes into the Mason bee home, pushing the tubes in as far as they will go. The folding step is not required if you make sure the back of the unfolded tubes are up against the back of the house effectively sealing them, the mason bee will then build a mud wall completely sealing the back before she starts gathering pollen.

Find some dry sticks or pieces of wood about the size of a tube, cut them so they are just a little bit longer. Insert these randomly among the tubes. This will provide a visual difference for the bees that will aid them in finding the tube they are currently nesting in.

Select a location facing the morning sun to awaken and warm your bees.

If temperatures are very hot, place the house is shaded during the hot part of the day. Once they start nesting you should not move the house as they will get confused wondering where it went.

For easy viewing, position house at eye level, 4 to 6 feet from the ground.

Place your bee house out of line of site of any birdhouses, birds eat bees.

Mount on a solid surface, a fence or the side of a building is preferred, they do not nest as well if mounted on a post or tree.

Locate your house as close as possible to the pollen and clay based soil sources. Dig a spade sized hole near your bee house, about 20 feet away is a good distance, for a mud supply, keep it moist.

The bees will nest for 5 to 6 weeks, once activity stops remove the house and store in a sheltered location such as a shed or carport that does not heat up beyond ambient temperatures. Store with the front of the tubes facing up and in a mouse proof container.

Harvest your cocoons in late fall or winter.

Wood Nesting Trays

Wood is a natural habitat for Mason and Leafcutter bees and provides both insulation and moisture control - a natural wicking effect that pulls moisture from the wet pollen loaf, preventing moldy cocoons.

Reusable wood trays must be placed within a bee house to protect from rain.

  • Reusable wood trays control year-to-year costs.
  • Easy to open and clean to remove and harvest Mason bee and Leafcutter cocoons in the fall.
  • Scents left from previous bees will attract next year's generation of bees.
  • Nesting holes are 8mm in diameter, the preferred size of our spring mason bees or 6mm for Leafcutter bees
  • Mason bee tray fronts are lightly burnished, creating a visual pattern that helps the mason bee find their home, Leafcutter fronts are painted black to draw the suns heat.
  • Removable cardboard backing and predator guard protects the bees from parasites and encourages nesting.
  • Side notches lock into neighbouring trays, retain alignment, and help block pests from entering on the side.

If you build your own bee house, ensure that your roof is 3" longer than the wood trays.

Harvest your cocoons in late fall or winter.

Instructions for wood trays

Place the nesting tray as far back in the house as possible. Keep the protective cardboard backing attached to the nesting tray. The cardboard backing encourages bees to nest in the trays by giving them a nesting hole that is closed on one end. At the end of bee activity for the season, remove the nesting tray block and store in a dry location with ambient outdoor temps until cocoon harvest time, late fall or winter.

During cocoon harvest, use a stiff brush to remove pollen mites and debris. Store wood trays assembled with rubber bands to maintain tray shape. Use the diagonal line on the side of the nesting block to assemble the trays together in the same order.

Harvest your cocoons in late fall or winter.

Dimensions of wood trays: 

48-hole Spring Mason Bee Tray sets: 51/4” W x 6” L x 3 1/4 H
96-hole Spring Mason Bee Tray sets:51/4 W x 6” L x 6 1/4 H
104-hole Summer Leafcutter Bee Tray sets 5 1/2 ” W X 4 3/4 L X 3 1/2 H

For using trays to your DIY bee house, allow an extra inch in width and height so that you can easily remove the trays.

Harvest your cocoons in late fall or winter.

Clayey Mud is Vital!

Our spring mason bee protects each nesting chamber with a wall of clayey mud. Without a nearby source of clayey mud, mason bees will not nest in your bee house. The correct moisture content is also very important because bees need moist clayey mud that they can easily gather and use. Dig a shovel size hole about 25 feet away from the Mason bee nesting home. Spread the clay on the south side of the hole and gently moisten, keep moist during the active nesting season.

Arid locations, sandy soil, and rooftop gardens can struggle to keep their mud source moist.

The Mason Bee Mud Box solves this challenge with capillary action. Water stored in the Mason Bee Mud Box takes an elevator ride up the grey capillary cloth and then under the Mason Bee mud. The clayey mud can now wick up water and maintain the moisture content that mason bees need. Depending on weather conditions, the water level in the storage bin may last one to two weeks before refilling is required.

Soak the cloth in water then slide one end of the grey cloth through the slot in the lid so 2 ½ to 3 inches of cloth is hanging through the slot so when the lid is on the cloth will touch the bottom of the container then it can wick the water up into the clay.

Fill the container with water and then put the lid on, hold the remaining grey cloth flat onto the top of the lid and pour the clay powder onto it. The cloth will then wick water to the clay keeping it moist until the water in the container is gone. Check the water level once a week and add water when required.

Place the mud box about 25 feet ( 8 meters ) away from the Mason Bee nesting house. If your able dig a small shovel size hole and place the mud box on the bottom, make sure it is level so the water does not run out or dig a smaller hole the size of the mud box so when you set the box in it the top is even with ground level.

Natural Reeds are bee’s favorite nesting material and when given a choice, hole-nesting bees will use reeds first.

Our reeds are gathered from lake beds and swamps and carefully hand-cut to a uniform length of 6". Reeds naturally vary in diameter size and we offer 7-10mm for spring mason bees and 4-7mm for summer leafcutter bees.

We’ve observed that solitary bees prefer nesting in natural reeds. The reeds are visually attractive to bees and the reed’s size variety helps each female bee to find the nesting hole that belongs to her.

Place reeds with open ends facing out and insert them into the bee house as far back as possible. After the bees have completed their flying season, store in a dry location that is subject to ambient outdoor temps. Protect from mice.

In the late Fall or Winter pinch the mud capped end of the reed and the reed will begin to split. Carefully pull the reed apart. We do not recommend reusing reeds because pest and disease build up can kill your bee house population.