How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2009
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    Default How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Here is a video on how to make mason bee nest blocks.

    http://www.vimeo.com/9236864
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

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  3. #2
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Thanks, I made my first one yesterday. Hopefully I will get some renters pretty soon.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    That's great johng. Let us know if you have ant check-ins.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  5. #4
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    May 2009
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    nelsonville, ohio
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    i like the video. i plan on making some today. my question is this. when do you put them out? is there a better place than others to put them? do i just lay them arround out side?
    should thay be under a overhang out of the rain?
    any help would be great

  6. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    11x
    Since you live just down the road I can tell you when I put mine up. As soon as you get 3 days in a row above 50 degrees they will start flying. There is no need to put them up for another 3 or 4 weeks but it wonít hurt either. If you have bees in your blocks and you put them up early you may need to protect them from woodpeckers. All of mine are under an overhang but Iím going to play around this summer and hang some of the 2 x 6 blocks on a tree as is. You could make a hat for the top of the block out of whatever you have available to simulate an overhang. It is important that they donít move so donít hang them with string. If you have children or if the child in you likes watching the action you can put them on the porch or next to a window. An old bookcase on the porch would be a hoot. Make sure you tape around the crack. For rain you could also cut up an old milk jug to make a roof so where you put them is up to you. They require a constant source of mud to do their mason work and it should be fairly nearby. Within in 50 or 100 feet is good. Mason bees donít venture out as far as honeybees and tent to forage close to home. Iím sure where you live that you will have good success with your blocks.

    Have fun!
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  7. #6
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    Apr 2005
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    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
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    Smile Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Nice job on the video and explanation. Now I got anothe 2do job-building a mason bee nest box.

    Thanks for sharing.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    I ordered some mason bee cocoons and some mason housing with lined tubes. I also got a setup for my best friend who wishes she could have honeybees but can't where she lives. She could definitely put up some mason bee houses though! Wait til she gets surprised on her birthday with this gift.
    I can't wait!
    I do know that I've seen some little blue-black mason bees in my garden the past two summers, in my flowers. They are very pretty to watch, and so quick!
    Won't hurt to have the extra cocoons I ordered, just in case the local bees have diminished. I remember how they LOVED morning glories.

  9. #8

    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Way cool Dave.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #9

    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    I'm thinkin' that I may try a variant of your approach Dave. Rather than ripping off a slice of the original wood, I'll take either a 2x4 or 2x6 and drill completely through it. Then, I'll use a piece of 1x4 furring strip to screw on the back. It seems simpler and I'm a simple kind of guy.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #10
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Do you guys clean your wood bee houses each year, or do you discard old ones each year? Or do you use liners in the holes to make them easy to clean out?

  12. #11

    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Omie, did you look at the video that Dave posted in the first post of this thread? He lines his with parchment paper (available at any grocery store). I've never lined mine before. I just let them use the holes until they no longer will, then replace the block. But...after looking at Dave's video, I'm going to try it his way.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  13. #12
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Omie, did you look at the video that Dave posted in the first post of this thread? He lines his with parchment paper (available at any grocery store). I've never lined mine before. I just let them use the holes until they no longer will, then replace the block. But...after looking at Dave's video, I'm going to try it his way.
    Yes, I did watch the video a few weeks ago....very nice.
    I guess I was asking 'you guys' meaning everyone else on the thread...I should have started a new thread for that question perhaps.

    I actually have parchment paper around anyway for when I bake bread!

  14. #13
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    beemandan,
    That is a great idea and it could save some fingers! Try to stick with the 2 by 6 for depth; a 2 by 4 is a little shallow and you will get fewer females. Also, I still recommend the tape around the seam to keep pests out. Iím glad you are going to have fun with it.

    Omie,
    The tubes are easy, clean, and fun. It is entirely up to you if you want to unroll a tube and inspect the contents or not. There is no cleaning of the block, just replace the tubes during the winter. If you just drill a block that will work fine the first year or two and then they get fouled and the bees wonít use them. It is easier to drill the holes and just put them up. If you have a supply of blocks and wish to use them for one season and then replace them youíll do just fine. I actually have two large blocks that Iím going to destroy after the bees emerge; they must be 2 and 3 years old.
    Regardless put some up and have fun.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  15. #14
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by DavesBees View Post
    Regardless put some up and have fun.
    Yes Dave, I have a bunch of tubes and cocoons ordered already, thank you for your encouragement!
    I got two sets of 20 cocoons for me and a set of 20 for my best friend's birthday who lives a few blocks away- she'll be so thrilled because she keeps telling me how she so wishes she could keep bees (she refers to my honeybees) but that she doesn't have the space or privacy for a big beehive. These masons she can put up in her apt's back porch area in the tiny back yard!

    I'm so excited to have another type of bee I can raise and house! I know there are masons around here, I saw some in my garden the past two years.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Hi Dave,
    Even though I already have a couple of 'can style' tube containers and tubes w/cocoons coming, I just ordered one of you cool wooden mason houses. Yours are obviously superior to the usual drilled wooden mason block houses offered in various places, because you make yours with removable backs which greatly facilitates the changing of paper tubes and the removal and storage of the cocoon-filled tubes over winter.

    I look forward to it!

  17. #16

    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    I am in the process of making one of my own....having stolen Dave's approach but added a twist of my own. The boards are cut. I have the drill bit. It's all on my workbench.....what the heck am I doing sitting in front of this computer?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  18. #17
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Hey Dave, I just received your nicely made mason house with the paper liners all set and ready to go. Thanks!

    'Only' 3 or 4 more weeks till things start blooming here!
    (and why does this winter seem like twice as long as any other winter??)

  19. #18
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Omie,
    Glad you are happy with the nest block. I am getting ready to put mine up maybe next week. It is ok to put them up early if you are not targeting a specific crop and let them emerge naturally. It would be far better for me to put them out than let them emerge in the shed. I have a few coltsfoot blooming right now but it will be a few days before there are enough for the bees. I also have snowdrops that my honeybees are foraging on but too far for the mason bees. I may put up some empty blocks around the property and video the results just for fun. Did you know you are close to Anarchy Apiaries? You should check out Sam Comfortís site; he may even be within a half hour drive for you and that would be a local source of honeybees for you.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  20. #19
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    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Hi Dave, yes I am lucky to know Sam Comfort, he helped me with my single beehive last year, that a kind lady bequeathed to me, but sadly the hive died this winter- they lost their queen in November.
    I have two colonies on order for first week of May coming from FatBeeMan in GA- he doesn't use pesticides or antibiotics etc so I feel ok there. I may try to get some other bees or a queen or two from Sam later this year (since I want to end this 2010 season with at least 3 hives)- I will be going to his bee club classes. Sam is great.

    We are I think a bit colder than your area still- no snowdrops or crocuses yet....but soon!

  21. #20

    Default Re: How To Make Mason Bee Nest Blocks

    Not nearly as pretty as Daveís.


    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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