Mason Bee Townhouse

  • Advertise with us
Project by DMC1903 posted 04-30-2014 09:30 PM 2894 views 9 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The wood is Western Red Cedar, I elected to nail boards together and drilled a hole 5/16’’ about 3-5” deep.
No, finish or glue was applied, hopefully the Bee’s will enjoy their new home.

16 comments so far

View Skylark53's profile


2816 posts in 3913 days

#1 posted 04-30-2014 10:21 PM

Will this entice them away from my garage door? Looks cool.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 05-01-2014 12:33 AM

Interesting! I’ve never seen these before.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7635 posts in 4206 days

#3 posted 05-01-2014 01:08 AM

I put one of these up last year and the Mason bees only took 4 or 5 of the cavities. I like your design! Nice work!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2430 days

#4 posted 05-01-2014 01:12 AM

Assume thats for carpenter/wood bees? They get the fly swatter in my backyard

View RoadHogg's profile


127 posts in 2780 days

#5 posted 05-01-2014 01:16 AM

Can you describe for me the construction? I’m trying to determine what dimension of material you used. It looks like three strips for each vertical and then a 2”x6” for the roof? I assume the holes are 90 deg to the face? Thanks.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 3180 days

#6 posted 05-01-2014 02:08 AM

Thanks for the complements.
For the construction, it’s 5 boards, (1”x5”)... the center board is 16”, 2 matching from center are 14” and the outer boards are 12”
I clamped the boards together, used a 45 degree square to get the top angle, from the center of the longest board. The holes are centered on each board and spaced 1” apart, it’s easier to drill the holes with the boards clamped together, they are 90deg from the face and 4-5” in depth, do not drill through the boards, leave a back wall for the egg’s to butt against. The nails are placed between the holes.
The top is a two 45 degree cuts to make a 90 degree angle, also made of 1” x 6”
To mount the unit, a kreg jig was uses, there are 2 holes on each side for screws.
Also, the placement of the box should be where the morning sun warms it and away from the heat of the afternoon.
I made up the design as I cut the boards….just winging it
Hope this helps.

View RoadHogg's profile


127 posts in 2780 days

#7 posted 05-01-2014 02:52 AM


-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 4248 days

#8 posted 05-01-2014 12:48 PM

I had never heard of Mason Bees until this post appeared. So I did a web search and found out that they are neither honey bees nor carpenter bees.
By the way, carpenter bees around my neck of the woods get very large, but are not aggressive.
Mason bees are solitary (don’t live in hives) and find hollows in which to lay their eggs. They are beneficial for pollination.

I guess I can go back to bed, I’ve learnt a new thing today.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Diggerjacks's profile


2328 posts in 3992 days

#9 posted 05-01-2014 05:07 PM

Hello DMC 1930

Very nice idea

Last year a birdhouse have been occuped by bees in my garden ( The birds were ejected of their birdhouse !!!)

But my garden has been plenty of flowers !!!

I will make one like yours

Thanks a lot for the informations

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View LesB's profile


2601 posts in 4296 days

#10 posted 05-01-2014 06:05 PM

Fancy bee houses. Mason bees are great pollinators but are only active in the early Spring and do not live in dry climates.
I have made them in just plain square blocks and used the paper liners (like straws) that can be removed and stored during the winter but they also make the wood blocks re-usable. The bee larva is actually sold in those liner tubes in seed catalogs in the North West.
One important note: the holes need to be 5/16” in diameter and a minumum of 6” deep. The 6” depth of the hole is needed to produce more female bees. Apparently as the eggs are laid the females are in the back of the hole and the males at the front (because they come out first) and too shallow a hole will lead to more male bees, who’s only purpose is to breed.
Another method I have used to make the houses more usable without the paper liners is to rout or cut with a molding blade on the table saw 5/16” half circle grooves on mating surfaces of 5/8” boards. Then clamp them together to form full circle holes. Do this for as many boards as you want holes. Then screw them together. This allow for cleaning and reuse (with or without liners; liners would need 3/8” grooves) and is also easier then drilling those deep holes.

-- Les B, Oregon

View RoadHogg's profile


127 posts in 2780 days

#11 posted 05-01-2014 06:36 PM

DMC1903. I just built one of these, thanks for the details. Mine is a little different but not better. Among the differences, I made the mistake to drill the holes on the “squared off” ripped edge so I missed out on the nice contours on the front as your’s has. Thanks for the inspiration. My Brother has been wanting one of these for a while. His wait is over!

I just realized one big mistake I made. I grabbed a 5/8” bit, not a 5/16” bit! DOH!

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

View Bugnurd's profile


105 posts in 2444 days

#12 posted 05-01-2014 07:22 PM

As an entomologist, I must say bravo!! This has been on my list for a while.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View GoBlu's profile


27 posts in 3018 days

#13 posted 05-01-2014 07:27 PM

I bought a tube one, but without the bee larvae once. They said to put it in a sunny place. I put it in a small dead tree that I kept up for the birds to roost on. But I never got any bees in it. Maybe I’ll make one of these sometime. Thanks for the instructions/pictures. Mason bees aren’t carpenter bees. I don’t think they damage anything.

Also, I plant clover for the bees in the lawn. We used to have clover lawns everywhere but people stopped planting them because of the bees. Since we need the honeybees for pollination, clover is good. The deer sometimes graze on it, too. If you have fruit trees, it’s really good to get as many bees as you can. For other things too.

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 3180 days

#14 posted 05-02-2014 02:33 PM

WOW!, Thanks for the interest and compliments on the bee house. I was cleaning up the shop and starting tinkering wth a pc of cedar thinking ” what could I make out of this”, when this design was created.
It’s nice to be able to make something out of Wood, that may help our local Bee’s.

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 3172 days

#15 posted 05-05-2014 08:20 PM

Nice bee hotel. I did build one too last year but it hasn’t been visited yet. But it’s probably not rural enough for them. Your design looks great.

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics