Introduction: Mason Bee Hive

I have been into beekeeping for a bit of time now and thought that it would be great to add mason bees to the list. So i sat down and came up with this design for mason bees. Later on in the season I can take out what they seal up for next year and start up with leaf cutter bees.

Step 1: Design & Pre Fitting

Put some time into CAD coming up with a design that would work. I built a inner chamber that I could remove if need be. I made that to fit the 6" length and 5/16" inner diameter cardboard tubes for the bees. I then made a mounting bracket to be drilled to a post. The last part was the top flower pot for the decor look and to have some close pollen. The top flower pot has a 1/4" drainage hole on each side to not over fill and drown the plant. The inner chamber has a drainage ditch angle to flow water straight out the front. I used a piece to duct tape to go over that so that the cardboard tubes will not fall into it nor block water if any were to get inside.

Step 2: Seal & Finish

At this point everything has been fitted and looked great. So I then painted and sealed it. Put in the few cardboard tubes I had that I bought at the 2016 Northwest Flower & Garden Show. After those were put in I fill it up the rest of the way with the empty ones. Got a plant in full bloom to put in the top flower pot.

Step 3: Mounted & Good to Go

Found a good location and screwed the mounting bracket to a post. Kept the plant well watered while waiting for the Mason Bees to hatch. As they did, they started to fill the tubes more and more with eggs. The season is over in my location for Mason Bees. So I have now taken the filled tubes out for next year. Now I can use the same hive for Leaf Cutter Bees. Well I hope that you have enjoyed this and thank you for checking my project out.

Comments

author
doncrush (author)2016-06-17

so leaf cutter bees use the tubes also? Where are they native?

author
Dylan Larsen (author)doncrush2016-06-30

yeah they will. I was hoping to get some this year, but still have gotten around to it. I have seen wild ones around where I live, Washington state. They can be order from all sorts of places online.

author
doncrush (author)Dylan Larsen2016-07-01

Cool, I might have to get some. I couldn't resist this pun humor from your comment...here is "a round tuit" I 3d print:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:910711

author
FoxysMyGirl (author)2016-06-16

Great project!

author
Dylan Larsen (author)FoxysMyGirl2016-06-30

Much thanks. I really appreciate it.

author
hdoman (author)2016-06-28

How long does it take the mason bees to discover your tubes?

author
Dylan Larsen (author)hdoman2016-06-30

I bought a few tubes before hand to start it up. By the end of the season Those 2 tubes filled all of the tubes you are seeing the pictures.

author
tarun laxkar (author)2016-06-04

good

author

Thank you. I really appreciate it.

author
Carpenter Guy (author)2016-06-02

I always wanted to make one of these, but I have never actually done it! Maybe I will now!

author

Right on!!! Its a lot of fun to do.

author
parisusa (author)2016-06-01

Nice design & photos

author
Dylan Larsen (author)parisusa2016-06-01

Thank you. I really appreciate it

author
christopher.leblanc.98 (author)2016-06-01

where do you get the tubes,,, or do you make them ,,, and does the inside diameter matter ,

author

I have ordered them on #amazon and got some from the local co-op. some companies will sell the tubes with eggs loaded good to go. I have seen a lot of of people using different lengths and diameters. If those work I don't know. I know the sizes I got are what most places will say are the best. So I'm sure there would be some wiggle room with it.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am a business owner. I have been making and building things longer than I can remember. I love to work for fun and work ... More »
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