First, some brief information about the native Mason Bee: Blue Orchard Mason Bee (Osmia lignaria). "Honeybees are very important to commercial agriculture, but native bees like the blue orchard bees are better and more efficient pollinators of native crops. There are 140 species of Osmia in North America. They are all known for visiting fruit trees, such as apples, plums, pears, almonds, and peaches. The blue orchard bee or Osmia lignaria, is prized for its efficiency pollinating fruit trees and is one of the few native pollinators that is managed in agriculture." (From the USDA Forest Service Site on the Blue Orchard Bee).
I first saw insect houses in Switzerland and Germany several years ago. The houses were fantastic. Very decorative and creative. I wanted one!!
|Stein am Rhein insect houses|
|Ottoschwanden Kurhaus (community center)insect house|
in Freiamt, Germany (Black Forest)
Quoting from the brochure:
|A year later.|
There are lots of great sites out there with photos and instructions on building a bee house. Below are a few favorite links.
The Metropolitan Field Guide to Insect Houses
BBC Wildlife: Building an Insect Hotel Habitat