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 Tubes for Mason bee homes 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Tubes for Mason bee homes
Traditionally, many people have used PVC tubes for mason bee homes. They work pretty well, except that if you have to buy 8 feet of tube it can be rather expensive.

I went to RESTORE, the Habitat for Humanity store where they resell housing supplies. My local one is in Beaverton. They had 8 foot tubes for 50 cents! Try to get that price at Home Depot. In addition, since these tubes were designed for French drains, they are already black on the inside and white on the outside, the preference for mason bees. They stay cooler in the sun and look like a better hiding place inside. They also don't heat up as much as metal.

I know some of you subscribe to the Crown Bees newsletter. The guy is very helpful in explaining a lot of important information about many solitary bees, not just mason bees. I got a lot of my information from them as well as from this site.

For example, I noticed that on my mulberry and quince trees, the tubes were very quickly 100% full. They say you need to put out more empty teasel or other tubes then, because obviously, the mason bees love it and want to make more babies there. Each year you'll get better and better pollination and fruit set.
John S

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:03 pm

Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:45 pm
Posts: 103
Location: Camas, Washington
Post Re: Tubes for Mason bee homes
Good tip, John. I hadn't thought of going to RESTORE for that sort of thing.

I got a bunch of scrap cedar fencing, I am going to try making some houses from two boards and a piece of shock cord (bungee). My teasel seems to need something stretchy to hold the bundle together, due to the thickness of the joint which causes the bundle to form more of a cone vs. a cylinder.

And speaking of teasel, now is the time to harvest it for mason bee tubes. I have been refining my harvest technique a bit, with better results. I took some video of the process, when I get a chance I'll add some words and throw it up on youtube.

Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:28 pm
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