Now that March is in full swing and the weather is consistently warmer, I need to find a good place to hang my Mason house.
It's not a house for people, or even birds, but rather, for bees -- non-stinging Mason bees to be exact.
I wasn't that familiar with Mason bees until I saw a picture of the house and started reading. Turns out Mason bees are major pollinators, which should help my garden and neighboring ones, as well. They like to nest in holes or tubes and are a solitary bee. No worker bees hang around the house. They don't build a traditional hive. Instead, the female builds a nest by herself and lays her eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the bees mate and the males die. Sorry, guys!
If I can get a female to move into the bee house, it'll be fun for the kids (and myself) to watch the bee set up house and raise her young. The trick is how to attract the bees. How will they know the house is meant for them? Do we even have Mason bees in our yard? They do well in harsh winters and tend to live in the north, so who knows if they even like sunny California.
I suspect a pesky yellow jacket will take up residence in the Mason house instead. Or one of the dozens of funnel-weaver spiders we have in our yard. The house is perfect for the way they spin their webs. Regardless of who moves in, it'll be a fun experiment to see if we can create a house full of Mason bees.