Make a Cob Bee Block for Solitary Bees

About: I am a stone mason. My hobby is making new solar cooking and gardening stuff. I have used solar heat to cook soil for a couple of years. In mother earth news in January, i read that their compost expert does...

Many types of solitary bees live, hide and lay their eggs in holes in the ground, in wood or in hollow weed stems or raspberry canes.  Lets make it easy for them to find a good home with a bee block.

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    13 Discussions

    Just a note that this is an update and not the original video. Bees continue to shelter and to lay eggs in the Bee Blocks.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Have you noticed if they prefer the cob holes to the hollow sticks/bamboo? I'm thinking I can make a hollow stick bundle today and plan to make the cob one later, unless the sticks are superior. Do you place the piece facing south? I know some bird house builders say face south and was wondering if the same consideration for solitary bees. Thanks for all you expertise and inspiration!

    1 reply

    Hi, myrrhmaid, it seems to depend on the bee. Some species prefer the cob holes, some prefer the hollow sticks and some prefer to chew holes in pity stems. (to make their own holes). So that is why I make so many different holes in different materials. Not sure why I tried stems with pith in them. Seems there is a species for most of the niches that I made. I think south or west facing has worked best for me. But that could be more about prevailing winds. Not sure what is right. Brian


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Really enjoyed that, thank you!
    I'm trying to construct my first experimental solitary bee hives at the moment. Could you please give me you cob/mud recipe? I am trying to collect bamboo for the bees. Have you worked with this before?
    Thank you.

    2 replies

    Bamboo works, Cob recipes vary depending on the clay. Use sharp sand (coarse sand or rock wall sand or "concrete sand" and try it 2 sand to one clay. Make a snake and squeeze it between your fingers. If you hear the sand grains grinding against each other, it is probably good cob mix. If you cannot hear them, either you have very good clay and you can try 3 sand to 1 clay or you need an ear test. Best of luck. I always try as many different size holes as I can. (We do not know what bees are out there so you make something for everybody). This ends up a lot more fun to watch than just 3 weeks of mason bees. I got bees using it March to October. Thanks Brian

    Thanks for the input. I probably recorded it a bit low, sorry, cannot fix that.
    BUT my speakers have a volume control that fixes it anyway.
    Guess you need new speakers.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    NOT a bee nest, a WASP nest. if you build this, you will DIE when you get stung if you have an allergic reaction to the sting! If you want honey bees, look up a honey bee box! If you want WASPs that sting then build this.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    this is a pretty extreme statement. Almost all bees can sting, and will. Wasps are just a bit more ready to do so. they also have an important place in the ecosystem, preying on other insects that harm crops, etc.


    I have been told by a BEE EXPERT that the BEES that look like wasps are probably wool carder bees. They are fun to watch. Amazing fliers.

    Very cool!! Won't be able to do one this year, but hopefully next year! Thanks for sharing this!