Handcrafted from recycled redwood. Dimensions: 5.5" W x 5.25" D x 10.75" H. From Songbird Essentials.
Madon bees are smaller and less aggressive than honey bees. They are a solitary bee and usually nest in the empty hollow left in trees by woodpeckers or insects. Often they will nest in the hollow end of a reed or plant stem as well. Since they are nonaggressive, when given a good place to live many bees will nest close together (though they will not work together). The mason bee gathers lumps of pollen which are packed into a ball and placed in the back of the nest. A single egg is placed on the pollen ball (which is used as food for the emerging larva).
Cold weather forces them into dormancy. Then in the spring, as your garden begins to bloom, the young emerge to begin the cycle again. A bee house like this, once occupied, can generate new bees indefinitely and is an invaluable resource for pollination. House your local mason bees, and they will return the favor by making your garden fruitful.
Position the front of the house where it will receive full morning sunlight. Ideally, the box should be placed to minimize exposure to wind and rain. Put the house up in March before the bees begin nesting. By the end of June, the holes will be safely plugged up with mud. Do not move the bee lodge during the weeks of active nesting. If you must move the bee lodge during the winter when the bees inside are in deep hibernation, be very gentle! If the house is stored outdoors over winter (under cover to protect them from rain and snow), the bees will usually emerge in March and April. They should forage for pollen during the period of cherry and apple bloom and afterwards. If sufficient other flowers are available to them.
Mason bees prefer to nest in clean holes. The mason bee lodge has a removable back for cleaning. Annual cleanout may be done in the spring after the bees have emerged. Remove the two screws holding the back panel on. Use a small object (pencil, Q-Tip, pipe cleaner) to push the previous year's nest out of the holes.
To encourage population increase each spring, you could provide additional lodges. Place them next to the older lodge before the emergence of the next generation.