We hadn't been seeing enough honey bees around this year, so just to help out mother nature a bit I ordered a mason (orchard) bee house from Gardener's Supply. Jim's friend took the house to his house where he already had some bees in houses and they filled up our house too. Pretty nice of him if you ask me! Just for reference, I've seen these bees for sale online for around $20-$25.
If you didn't go to the link I provided (not an aff link) I should probably explain that the house is made of renewable bamboo with a nice looking basket weave look to the outside. It's very sturdily built and about the only thing I might say in any negative way is that some of the holes were too big for the bees to fill and so our friend had to make them a little smaller using plastic straws. Looks like the bees were up for that, huh? Also, the house only lasts about 1 to 2 years. Mason orchard bees don't sting either because they have no honey to protect.
It's been home for a few days now, sitting on one of our corner shelves on the front porch. They advise putting it on the south side of the house, but it gets pretty hot on that side of our house. Maybe we can put it on the east side of the house where it will get morning sun. I'm thinking it should be up under the eaves too. Anyone have any experience with these bees and care to leave a comment?
Oh, and the reason I said the bees are like sourdough bread dough...Getting the bees from a friend is like someone having some starter dough and giving you a chunk to begin your own. Instead, we got mason/orchard bees.