How to Make Bee Boxes

Do-it-yourself homes for orchard bees.
Grit Staff
March-April 2009
Add to My MSN

A bee home constructed by Gordon Cyr.
Courtesy Cordon Cyr, MasonBeeHomes.com


Content Tools

Related Content

My Adventure in Beekeeping Begins

As any beekeeper soon finds out, bees have a mind of their own. Yes, you can give bees a box to live...

BeesFree to Sponsor the 2012 California State Beekeeper Association Annual Convention

BeesFree, Inc. announced announced Nov. 13 that it will be a Silver Sponsor at the 2012 California S...

Beehives in Autumn

This new beekeepers shares her experiences and discoveries of opening her hives late in the summer a...

Mary Ann or Ginger?

The Urban Bystander weighs in on the age old question about shipwrecked castaways.

MAIN ARTICLE 

A bee box is a place where bees can find cover and create the next generation. You can make them quite easily, or, if you'd rather, you can buy them.

The Orchard Mason Bee, unlike other types of bees, does not live in a nest or hive; instead, it lives in holes in blocks. Other insects drill holes for themselves, sometimes destroying the wood in the process, but not so with Orchard Mason Bees.  They find holes that already exist and use them.

Building a bee house:

  • Find some scrap lumber (be sure your wood is untreated) and your drill. Using drill bits of various sizes (the Mason bees seem to like 5/16ths of an inch best), drill holes 3 to 5 inches deep. Do not drill all the way through the wood. (For example, if you're using a 5-by-5 drill holes that are 4 1/2 inches deep.)

  • If there are birds to keep away, cover the holes with chicken wire.

  • Now take your box and attach it to a building, fence post, or tree – on the South side.

  • Take some bee boxes to other places in your community. Another location may have many bees, which you can capture and move to your place.

  • Once your bee house is in place do not move it until late fall (November).

  • Be careful not to spray any insecticides around your bee boxes.

For more information see resources, or check out the National Wildlife Federation website.








Post a comment below.

 








Pay Now & Save 50% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Live The Good Life with Grit!

For more than 125 years, Grit has helped its readers live more prosperously and happily while emphasizing the importance of community and a rural lifestyle tradition. In each bimonthly issue, Grit includes helpful articles, humorous and inspiring articles, captivating photos, gardening and cooking advice, do-it-yourself projects and the practical reader advice you would expect to find in America’s premier rural lifestyle magazine.

Get your guide to living outside the city limits delivered straight to your mailbox. Subscribe to Grit today!  Simply fill in your information below to receive 1 year (6 issues) of Grit for only $19.95!

SPECIAL BONUS OFFER!

At Grit, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to Grit through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Grit for only $14.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Grit for just $19.95!