12 Mason Bee Houses That Actually Work (2020)

Mason bees have become increasingly popular in the past decades, and even though they don’t produce honey, they are excellent pollinators for fruit trees and flowers. 

If you’d like to install a mason bee house in your garden for this purpose, you’ll find the best mason bee houses below. 

We Recommend

Best price/value ratio

Kibaga Bee House

Best large option

Bambeco Bee Barn

Best mason bee tray

Wildlife World Tray

Mason bee house

1. KIBAGA Mason Bee House

The Kibaga is a budget-friendly bee house that is visually appealing but also easy to install. 

It’s made of bamboo, so it’s perfectly natural and it won’t affect the health of the bees as no chemical dyes have been used in its construction. 

The item is a good contender for the title of the best bee house despite being relatively small. 

It’s equipped with a hanging rope and approximately sixty nesting tubes, which means you don’t need any additional mason bee starter kit for the purpose.

Some of the people who’ve reviewed the product praise its good craftsmanship while others note that they love its beautiful design. 

What we liked

  • Made of all-natural materials
  • Easy to hang anywhere in your garden, whether next to your house or on a tree
  • Comes with sixty nesting tubes
  • Its design attracts mason bees and increases your flower and fruit tree pollination
  • Smooth surfaces for increased safety
  • Estimated to last for two years
  • Visually appealing design adds to the charm of your garden

What we didn’t like

  • Somewhat physically small
  • A number of bamboo sticks can be ragged at the end 

2. Bambeco Mason Bee Barn

If you are in the market for a slightly bigger alternative so that you can give a more comfortable and sizable home to your mason bees, then this 

Bambeco option might make the right choice for you.

Like other products that we are showcasing in our selection, this one, too, is made from all-natural materials, which means that it is not going to pose any health threats to the bees. 

By comparison, many other mason bee houses use artificial dyes that can cause health complications to the little critters.

Based on the info that we gathered by going through the user reviews, it seems that this product arrives exactly as described and the company is responsive to any issues noted by the customers.

What we liked

  • The tunnels in the middle of the house are 5.5 inches deep, so long enough
  • The cute design of the item will improve the way your garden or orchard looks
  • Made of bamboo, so perfectly bee-friendly, safe, and healthy
  • The materials are durable, so they can be used by the mason bee hive for a long time
  • Stackable bee tube trays included in the offer
  • Very easy to install anywhere in your garden
  • It attracts pollinators in a timely fashion

What we didn’t like

  • Not suitable for butterflies or other insects
  • The narrow tubes can be hard to clean
  • Slightly pricey compared to others

3. Cestari Mason Bee House Tube

Having been specifically designed for orchard and mason bees, the Cestari mason bee nester is also made of eco-friendly materials, which guarantee sustainability and safety for the insects. 

There are about 75 tubes included in the design and all of them have an approximate length of 4 inches, which should be enough for a decent solitary bee house. 

Every tube is made of bamboo, while the roof and the rest of the construction are made of FSC certified pine wood. 

One thing worth noting about this option is that the tubes are made to be smooth so that they don’t accidentally injure the bees’ bodies. 

What we liked

  • The environmentally-safe construction of this item likely makes it the best mason bee house out there
  • Can be installed with ease
  • Thanks to its rugged construction, it can last for up to two seasons
  • The house can host up to 140 species of solitary bees
  • The tubes are sizable enough to host the adults, their eggs, and their larvae
  • With this unit, the bees are going to be protected from strong wind and rain
  • It hasn’t been dyed with any potentially dangerous substances

What we didn’t like

  • Doesn’t hold up well in very rainy climates
  • Some bees aren’t attracted to it
  • Some of the pieces might have to be drilled as they can be loose

4. Rivajam Beekeeper Pro Mason Bee House Hotel

Unlike some other honeybee houses types you might stumble upon while doing your research, this bee house doesn’t have any bamboo in its construction. 

As some bee aficionados might know, bamboo can pose some problems as it’s difficult to clean.

Instead, the Rivajam alternative is entirely made of eco-friendly, sustainable, pine materials, which means that it will both stand the test of time and be perfectly safe for the bees. 

Compared to similar mason bee homes, this one is outfitted with replaceable nesting tubes, so you can use it time and again. Moreover, it’s equipped with a full roof that protects the bees from rain and other elements. 

What we liked

  • The mounting hardware is included in the box
  • You can quickly replace the nesting tubes and paper inserts
  • Includes 2 hooks for mounting on a side of your house or a tree
  • Specifically designed for leaf-cutter, aphid, carpenter, and mason bees
  • Great for newbie beekeepers
  • Despite being somewhat small, it’s very welcoming to the bees
  • Can be used to attract mason bees if it’s placed facing south or south east

What we didn’t like

  • Might attract other insects, such as grasshoppers, too
  • You might have to re-attach the brackets at the back

5. Gardener’s Supply Mason Bee House

If you want to learn how to keep mason bees in your orchard, you can start by trying out this mason bee house as it is specifically made for peaceful mason bees. 

It’s a little smaller than what some beekeepers might be accustomed to, but it can attract hundreds of bees every day. 

Moreover, it’s the perfect alternative for all generations, from mason bee cocoons to adults. 

It’s made of natural materials such as bamboo and wood. 

Thanks to its durable construction, it can last for up to two whole years. 

Since the house can’t be fastened using any other methods and there’s just one hanger at the top, you should make sure that you place it on a stable tree branch. 

What we liked

  • Made of all-natural materials
  • Can attract a variety of solitary bee species from orchard to mason bees
  • Comes with the nesting tubes pre-installed
  • Equipped with a hanger at the top, so it can be set up with ease
  • Quickly attracts bees from a large garden
  • Some users note that it tends to last for up to four years
  • Doesn’t cost a fortune

What we didn’t like

  • The tubes aren’t replaceable
  • Outer material seems to be a little thin

6. KIBAGA Natural Bamboo Mason Bee House

If you are looking to buy mason bees’ houses that don’t cost a fortune, this budget-friendly option by KIBAGA should be right up your alley. 

The product comes with a design that includes approximately 70 tubes made out of bamboo.

Thanks to its pre-existing gaps, the mason bee barn makes the appropriate habitat for females looking to nest. 

No matter the weather, the construction of the item will hold up more than decently, which is why you can use it for several seasons. 

In fact, the bee house is outfitted with an edge measuring 0.6 inches right at the front and the back of the tubes, which makes it possible for the bees to benefit from an extra amount of weather protection. 

What we liked

  • Made of all-natural materials
  • It doesn’t have any chemical and potentially dangerous dyes
  • Comes with no fewer than 70 tubes 
  • Very easy to install in a safe place
  • Capable to last for approximately two years
  • Provides shelter from the elements for mason bees and other species
  • Capable of deterring bees from nesting near your home

What we didn’t like

  • Bamboo tubes are challenging to clean in-between seasons
  • Needs to be fastened properly as strong wind can displace it

7. Homestead Essentials Native Mason Bee House

Since mason bee care calls for responsibility and consistency, you might want to install a mason bee home right on a wall rather than hang it on a tree. 

This way, the product isn’t going to be affected by strong wind or the elements and the bees will have a safe haven. This unit can be wall-mounted. 

The Homestead Essentials item has been flame-treated, so it is designed to stand the test of time. 

Similar to other products in this line, it’s made of all-natural materials and the tubes have been crafted from bamboo. 

If you locate the bee shelter in a sunny area at the beginning of spring, you’ll have no issues attracting a variety of pollinators, not just mason bees. 

What we liked

  • Can be used to attract mason bees and leafcutter bees
  • Protects beetles and ladybugs when the weather is cold
  • Made of durable, natural materials that are safe for all insects
  • Can be installed on a tree trunk or on a house wall that gets plenty of sun
  • Eye-catching design
  • Comes with tubes of various sizes for different types of bees
  • Quality workmanship guarantees durability

What we didn’t like

  • The tubes are stuck together so they can’t be replaced
  • Somewhat difficult to clean

8. Elderberry Mason Bee Hotel

Measuring 9 by 9 by 4 inches, this bee house is a good contender for the title of the best mason bee house, especially since it seems to be capable of attracting more than enough mason bees and other pollinators. 

What’s really nice about the mason bee kit is that it includes a set of replaceable tubes, which can’t be said for other models that are available for sale these days. 

Moreover, it’s hand-crafted in the United States for superior durability, so it can be used for several seasons. 

No chemical dyes have been used in the construction of the unit, so you don’t have to worry about the mason bee blocks posing a threat to the bees’ health. 

What we liked

  • Made of locally sourced wood from the United States, so it’s eco-friendly
  • Crafted with safe and durable materials
  • The tubes are replaceable, so you can use the bee house time and again
  • Tubes are made of Elderberry stocks rather than bamboo 
  • The frame structure protects the bees from the elements
  • Easy to install anywhere in your garden or orchard
  • The tubes are smooth and don’t harm the bees

What we didn’t like

  • The size could be bigger
  • Tubes can be challenging to replace

9. KIBAGA Mason Bee House

This KIBAGA model is another bee house for garden use that you can rely on if you are looking to attract as many pollinators as possible. 

It’s beautifully designed, and the hexagon shape resembles what the bees would naturally create if they had the opportunity to make their own mason bee nest.

While there are many other mason bee kits that aren’t winners when it comes to durability, you’ll have no such issues with this one as it is guaranteed to last for two years. 

Like other bee houses out there, this one is equipped with a hanging rope that makes it easy to install on any tree in your garden or orchard. You can also place it on your balcony if you live in an apartment.

What we liked

  • Made of high-quality materials that are safe for the bees
  • The tubes will allow female bees to benefit from a secure nesting space
  • There’s an extra edge that offers additional protection from the elements
  • It deters bees from nesting right next to your home
  • Provides a shelter for when the weather starts to get cold
  • The tubes are 6-inches deep, so they give the bees plenty of space
  • Solid construction guarantees durability over time

What we didn’t like

  • The house comes packaged in styrofoam, which isn’t eco-friendly
  • Higher price tag

10. SkyMall Mason and Leafcutter Cedar Solitary Bee House

While most mason bee boxes and houses you’ll come across come with nesting tubes, this unit is different in that it’s made with trays instead of tubes. 

If you’ve done a little reading on how to raise mason bees, you might have found out that trays are safer, in some respects, as they better protect the critters from the elements. 

The SkyMall alternative is made with durable and safe materials since the trays are constructed from cedar, not bamboo. 

This means that they’re easier to clean and they’ll also not harm the bees’ bodies. 

With the correct mason bee house placement, you can use this product to attract a variety of pollinators, from leafcutter bees to red mason bees. 

What we liked

  • The hole sizes are specifically made for solitary, child-friendly bees
  • Made of durable cedar
  • The stacking trays are very easy to clean, especially compared to tubes
  • Provides ample space for nesting since it measures 7 by 7 by 6.5 inches
  • Can be hanged by a branch or put on a post
  • Customers praise its sturdy design
  • Protects the bees from the weather

What we didn’t like

  • The closed design doesn’t let you peek on the bees
  • Not as affordable as tube models

11. Wildlife World Interactive Mason Bee Management System House

The Wildlife World model is another mason bee house that comes with trays instead of tubes, but you can rest assured that it’s going to be a safe space for your mason bees to nest in, especially during spring.

The best thing about this mason bee supplies item is that the trays can be removed for inspection and cleaning. 

This gives you the opportunity to re-use the model for several seasons in a row.

Moreover, the Wildlife World alternative is one of those mason bee nests that has been built from sustainable timber instead of bamboo. 

The surfaces are smooth, so they don’t risk harming the little bees’ bodies. 

What we liked

  • Attracts both leafcutter and red mason bees
  • Can be easily installed on the side of your home or on a tree trunk
  • Made of recycled timber instead of bamboo
  • The tray design adequately protects the bees from the elements
  • Lasts for at least two years with the appropriate care
  • Can be taken apart and cleaned at the end of every nesting season
  • Boasts cleanly drilled holes

What we didn’t like

  • It comes with just one tiny hook for hanging 
  • The pieces can be a little warped

12. Wildlife World BBTIN Mason Nester Bee Tin

This product is essentially a mason bee box that resembles a can. 

While its design might seem inappropriate to some newbie beekeepers, it’s actually a winner in terms of safety. 

It even comes with peelable foil wrap and a predator guard built-in, which means that the mason beehive will be better protected. 

Moreover, you’ll encounter no difficulties while installing it since there are detailed instructions inside the wrap. 

The mason bee hole size of the tubes is perfect for attracting a variety of solitary bees from orchard and mason bees. Additionally, the cardboard tubes can be replaced so that you can use the nester time and again. 

What we liked

  • Easy to hang anywhere in your orchard or garden
  • Comes with built-in protectors from woodpeckers and other predators
  • The tubes can be replaced
  • The tin design guarantees durability over time
  • Can be used to attract a variety of solitary bee species
  • Cleaning the product can be done conveniently at the end of the season
  • Insulated tubes keep the bees warm even in bad weather

What we didn’t like

  • Removing the tubes can be a little difficult

How do you start mason bee keeping?

How do you start a mason bee population on your property? No matter if you use a mason bee house plan to build one, or you purchase a commercial wood bee house, things aren’t as easy as putting out the nester. 

You aren’t going to see any mason bee hives on your property if there are no such bees in your area. Attracting them is possible since they seem to prefer narrow places where they create nests located close to each other. But if you have none in your garden, it’s practically impossible to start mason bee keeping. 

You can buy frozen cocoons or get reeds that contain about 5 bees per piece. Just one set of the latter is capable of pollinating anything between 2 and 4 orchard trees or a variety of early blooming crops. 

Mason bees aren’t the only type of solitary, friendly bee out there, so you can also get leafcutter bees or sunflower bees also in reeds of several per piece. 

You can fit the reeds into your apiary bee house. Because of this, your first house should come with removable tubes so that you can replace a few with the reeds containing the bees. 

Besides making sure they have where to live, you’ll have to clean the houses regularly and look for signs of mites. Mite infestations can decimate an entire population of mason bees, but luckily there are many methods of controlling mites these days. 

How to set up a mason bee house?

While there are many bee houses for gardens and orchards currently available, they all take advantage of the same bee behavior — they like to nest close to each other, even though they are considered solitary. So that’s why the tubes or trays are very close together.

Keeping mason bees doesn’t have to be expensive and you can build your own nest with mason bee house plans that you’ll find online. But the most important factor when setting up such a bee house is location. 

You have to install it in a warm and cozy place, and if it were protected from the elements, it would be even better. A mason bee typically covers an area of about 100 meters (roughly 328 feet), so if you have a garden or orchard that’s larger than that, you should install several bee houses across it. 

Starting a new nest might also be necessary if the house has become completely full. In general, the bigger the bee house, the larger the mason bee population you’ll get on your property. A higher number of bees is synonymous with better pollination for your plants and fruit trees in the long run. Plus, the bees are friendly and don’t tend to cause any trouble.  

Nesting tubes vs. nesting trays

A commercial mason or carpenter bee house can come either with tubes or trays for nesting. But which of these is better for keeping mason bees happy and healthy? Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

For example, mason bee nesting tubes that can be opened, harvested, and cleaned can help you keep your bee population in check even for the following seasons. Ideally, the tubes should be made out of cardboard or wood, but they have to be removed somehow. They can quickly become dirty if you don’t take care of them. 

Stackable wooden trays also come with an imitation of mason bee tubes on the inside. The main advantage of this type of design is that it’s easily accessible for cleaning and cocoon harvesting. However, the material can retain moisture, so mold can become a problem over time. 

You also have the option of getting a bee house that comes with plastic tubes or trays, in which case you will have less of a headache when cleaning them and you aren’t going to have to worry about durability, either. Just make sure that the plastic is bee-safe and that it can withstand high temperatures. 

Out of all of the nesting systems currently available, drilled wooden blocks are the worst. They are almost impossible to clean and they can lead to severe mite infestations. 

When to install mason bee house?

People who are just beginning their mason bee keeping adventure should be aware that early spring is the best season for installing a mason bee nester. As spring advances and the flowers in your garden or orchard start to bloom, you can purchase mason bee cocoons and place them in the bee home. 

Timing can be critical for keeping mason bees, so knowing exactly when to put out a mason bee house can help prevent a lot of problems. If you accidentally miss spring, your population might fall. 

Mason bees need time to reproduce and also gather plenty of resources and lay their eggs. Once they have collected enough food, they’ll seal up their chambers. If you make a mistake on when to install a mason bee house, the bees aren’t going to be able to follow their natural patterns for either the hot or the cold season. 

If you have already noticed mason bees in your living environment and it happens to be spring, you should install a bee house that you’ve purchased late at night or early in the morning. Place it in a sunny area so that it gets plenty of warmth and the bees will come on their own. 

Where to place a mason bee house?

One of the most important questions that a newbie mason beekeeper needs to ask themselves is the following: Where is the best place to put a mason bee house? Here are several factors to consider when deciding on the perfect bee house placement.

First of all, you should place solitary bee houses in areas that are located next to flowers, whether those of plants or fruit trees. On the other hand, it’s mandatory for you to locate the house in an area where it gets enough warmth and sunshine. 

Otherwise, the mason bees aren’t going to be attracted by it as they love the warmth and it makes their future generations thrive. 

What about the ideal mason bee house height? As you probably know, bees don’t make their nests right on the ground, so it would be perfect if you installed the bee house about 6 to 7 feet above the ground. That’s why even a balcony is an appropriate place.

Another important aspect is that the house should be as best protected from the elements as possible. If you have rich, leafy trees in your garden or orchard, they could make a great location as they don’t allow too much rain to come in contact with the house. 

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