They were really easy to make. Here's how we did it: We had some leftover post ends from a barn-related project. They were 8 1/2 inches long, and measured 3 1/2 inches square. If you're buying them, they call them 4-by-4's, because that's the size they are when the wood is still wet. It shrinks as it is kiln-dried. We also had some old cedar shingles that we had used to repair the old roof, before we replaced it with a metal one. We sawed the shingles in half and drilled a small hole in the center of each one. For the holes in the wood, where the bees will live, we used a 5/16 inch drill bit. We marked the holes so that they would be at least an inch apart, and drilled them with the drill press. From what I could find out, it didn't really matter if the holes went all the way through or not because the bees would be using mud to block the entrances. No problem there... we live in the Pacific Northwest and mud is plentiful! We attached the roof shingle to the motel with an eye screw and hung each one from a tree. Mason bees apparently like east-facing holes, because they are cold-blooded and need the sun to warm them up in the morning. They also need places that are somewhat sheltered to the wind. We hung a few of them in our apple and pear trees, one in a rhododendron bush, and bolted one to the fence by the raspberry plants. Now we wait.
With the recent decline in honey bees nation-wide, it seems like giving these little native pollinators a place to live is a really good idea!
Until next time!
Leaving you with this quote: "When the flower blossoms, the bee will come." Hopefully when the bee house is put in the tree, the same thing will happen!