Make a Bee Waterer

3 Materials
1 Hour

Mason Bees are easy to raise and are very gentle, amazing pollinators. Mason Bees are one of the easiest to keep. Because they do not make honey, Mason Bees prove to be docile enough to only sting when stepped on or provoked.

They nest in pre-made holes, whether made by other birds, such as Woodpeckers or man made. We can help increase their populations by raising them in our backyard gardens

Several flowers, vegetable, fruits and herbs benefit from being pollinated by Mason Bees, especially yellow, blue and purple tones.  Mason Bees, like all other bees cannot see certain colors, like reds.

Native bees are attracted to native plants four times more likely than to other blooms. A welcoming blooming variety plant environment will be necessary during their active season. Wild flowers and native plants are a great place to start when appealing to Mason Bees.

They also like Acacia, Canterbury Bells, and Daisies.

Moist soil is a must for survival. The female lays her eggs inside the holes of the bee house. Using this soil, like mortar, she creates safe chambers for her eggs and a cache of nectar.

When you see Mason Bees flying around your yard,

 take your shovel and turn over a patch of damp soil for them.

Did you know Bees get thirsty?

Bees need access to safe water sources. They often risk drowning in birdbaths or being eaten at rivers and lakes by birds, fish, frogs, and other wildlife. This is why they often fly around our clotheslines and may even land on us if we're in an outdoor pool on a hot day.

Bees know exactly where to return to the same water source each time. 

Foragers seems to seek scented water sources. They even mark unscented

sources with a pheromone so others can locate it easily.

One way you can be sure Mason Bees have access to water is by adding 

marbles to a pan, then adding water. 

The marbles give the bees a spot 

to land so they don't drown when they drink.

Do change the water frequently to avoid mosquitoes laying eggs

 in the water. 

Provide them with a home, some mud, wildflowers/flowers, 

some water and Mason Bees will come to pollinate your plants into a beautiful garden full of flowers fruits and vegetables. 

Suggested materials:

  • Mason bee house  (Target)
  • Pan  (had, but Dollar Tree has them)
  • Marbles  (had, but Dollar Tree has them)

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Debbie/Dragonfly Treasure

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • MimiMary52
    on Feb 25, 2020

    We moved into a different house in October! I’m very excited to create a garden for Mason Bees. We do have 4 dogs and an indoor/outdoor cat. Will they all be safe?

    Thank you!

    • Jaynie
      on Mar 3, 2020

      Absolutely. Mason bees found their way to my house 7 years ago. They are docile and barely noticeable. They come out when the tulips begin appearing and are gone before you know it. They are not interested in people or pets and are not attracted to sweat, etc. like summertime bees.

  • Erica
    on Feb 25, 2020

    Do the marbles have to be clear or does it even matter... I'm totally going to give this a shot.. Mason bee's sound like a great bee to get started with..

  • Sherry
    on Mar 22, 2020

    So is this a “Build it and they will come,” project? Are mason bees in any particular region? I’d love to try this!

    • Debbie/Dragonfly Treasure
      on Mar 22, 2020

      They live all across the United States and Southern Canada, but are particularly common in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Puget Sound area and western Cascade Mountains.

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