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.