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Bee gardening news and education from the UC Davis Bee Haven
by Sande Jaksha
on May 17, 2019 at 8:51 AM
I am new to this so need as much info as I can get.
by Margaret Holler
on July 14, 2019 at 7:17 PM
Why are the drilled wood type bee houses always so uniform? From what I’ve read, it’s best to have a mixed arrangement of tubes, much like the bamboo houses although some of the tubes in the bamboo houses probably can’t be used (too big or too small). The drilled houses could also have the 3 recommended hole sizes to accommodate different species. It seems like those attributes are recommended but none are on the market. The other two things that this ideal 😉 bee house would have is an over hanging roof and a way to clean it each year. Speaking of cleaning, are paper inserts available for the 3 different sized holes that are recommended? If I need to purchase one with bamboo I’d like to make sure I’d be able to clean and/or replace the bamboo tubes. Is that possible?  
Sorry for all the question but I just can’t settle on the best design. Thanks for any info you can offer!
Reply by Christine Casey
on July 15, 2019 at 10:12 AM
As you've discovered, many of the bee houses on the market were not designed by folks with knowledge of the biology of cavity-nesting bees. You are correct that a variety of cavity sizes will attract the greatest variety of bees. In the past I've made these myself for sale at the Haven; I hope to have some available at our September 21 fundraiser if you're in the area.  
I'm only aware of the paper inserts in one size. If you have a beekeeping supply house in your area you might try them for inserts or bamboo in varied sizes. An online source with a good selection is Crown Bees ( Many online vendors focus solely on mason bees, which are only one species of the many that use nesting blocks.  
You might also notice that the front of some of the blocks being sold appear to have been burned. This is normal; the charring of the wood seems to help attract bees to the nest.
by Patti
on October 17, 2023 at 12:20 PM
I bought a Costco Bee barn to help the mason bees. I did not realize the bamboo tubes are glued together. How do I remove them or do I just leave them alone and then the spring time put the house out? Thank you
Reply by Christine Casey
on October 23, 2023 at 9:32 AM
Put your bee house in the garden around the beginning of spring. The tubes cannot be removed from the Costco bee house, so it can only be used once to ensure there is no spread of disease. Once it's been used, hold it until the following spring; once the bees have left it will need to be replaced.
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