Mason Bee Supplies

We are a non-profit 501c(3) organization dedicated to educating our members and the general public about growing good fruit at home.

For many years, a group of our members have been spending their spare time raising mason bees to sell to other backyard fruit growers. Currently, at nine different sites around Portland and the North Willamette valley, members set out new tubes every spring to increase their mason bee populations, making it possible to sell full tubes to others. These bees are home-grown, adapted to the Pacific northwest climate, and extremely hardy.

If you are interested in ordering from us, please take a moment to read these guidelines

California Residents

California residents are now required to have a permit to raise mason bees. We CANNOT process your order without receiving a copy of your permit with your order form. Applications for CA mason bee permits are available online at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/permitsandregs.html

Please mail your permit to:

Home Orchard Society
PO Box 607
Oregon City, OR 97045

Or scan and email to: masonbees@homeorchardsociety.org

Placing Your Order

  • Order limit of 25 tubes of dormant bees per person!
  • We only fill orders from December 7th through the beginning of April (weather and supplies dependent)
  • This is a volunteer-managed endeavor, please be patient; your business is important to us, and we will return your email as soon as we can.
  • Plan ahead for what you need – February is busy with bee tube sales, so order early!

This year we will be accepting on-line orders only. Payment is through Pay-Pal and will be due at the time of order. Order here.

Receiving Your Order

You have two choices – shipping via mail or in person pick-up:

Shipping By Mail

We ship via US Priority Mail only. We do not have an account with UPS or FED-EX.

Pick Up Your Order

There are two ways to arrange a pick-up:

  1. At the HOS Fruit Propagation Fair; generally the 1st Saturday in March, in the Portland, OR area. Visit our website (www.homeorchardsociety.org) for directions and times.
  2. At the HOS Arboretum; open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 – 3 pm year round, on the campus of Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon. You will receive notice when your order is ready for pick-up. ***The arboretum will be closed from December 20th thru January 4th.

Please note… we do our best to screen our donated bee tubes, but we do not expose/clean/or sex our bees. Because of this we are able to keep our prices extremely low, at less than a third of the price of commercial suppliers. We are are unable to offer refunds. If there are problems with your bees, please contact us and we will work with you to find a solution to ensure your ability to successfully grow a population for yourself.

2015/16 HOS mason bee supply price list

Bees

Our tubes of bees are designed to fit inside PVC houses, but can be tucked anywhere safe and dry (tin cans and small buckets are great too); tubes are paper coated with a thin plastic coating for weather resistance. Please note that these are cocoons inside paper tubes; the cocoons themselves have not been cleaned or sorted. Generally, in each 6 inch tube, the first 2 – 3 cocoons are males, and the remaining 3 – 6 cocoons at the back are females, who emerge last.

An average of 3 – 5 twelve inch folded tubes of bees gives a backyard grower a good start to their population, and is a good number to start a single PVC or wood block house’s population. If you have a big place or more than a dozen fruit trees, consider multiple houses, spread 100-150 feet apart.

If you are trying to introduce these bees into wood block housing of some kind, all they need is to be placed alongside the house (and protected from the weather – a tin can hung horizontally works great!). The bees will exit their tubes and start using the new holes for egg laying.

Folded 12 inch tubes (12-18 cocoons)

Each 12BT: $5.50

(Bees will emerge from the end designated with magic marker on the outside)

6 inch tubes (6-9 cocoons)

Each 6BT: $3.00

Limit of 25 tubes (6” or 12”) per order

Empty tubes

Empty tubes are cardboard with a thin plastic coating for weather resistance. Tubes need folding in half, as a 12” tube is too deep for bees to use efficiently. We sell bundles of 27 because this is the number of tubes that fit (folded) in one side of a 3” PVC house, or that fills both ends of a 2” PVC house.

If you are buying 3 – 5 tubes of bees, a bundle of 27 empties will serve as nesting space for the first two seasons of your bees. Expect to provide a woodblock or PVC house with one bundle of 27 empty tubes for every 3 – 5 twelve inch folded tubes of bees you purchase.

Coated 12 inch tubes (Bundle of 27)

Each 2712T: $6.50

Order mason bee supplie here