Mason bees are the motivated self-starters of the insect world. Loners by nature, these bees don’t travel in swarms; they live in a mason bee house instead of a hive. And they bow to no queen. Instead, they work alone or in small groups. And they nest deep inside hollow limbs and reeds where they lay eggs. To protect the next generation, female bees seal eggs inside using a special mud-like putty or masonry; hence their name.

Female mason bees are hard to miss. They have a dark, inky, slightly iridescent body. They are similar in size to the honey bee. Male bees are smaller and fuzzier than their females counterparts. Masons are docile creatures that don’t usually sting. They don't make honey, either. And, compared to other bees, masons are low maintenance. All you need to build a top-notch habitat is a bundle of hollow reeds, bamboo, or cane. For best results, place mason bee habitats near flowering stone fruit trees like cherry, plum, and apricot. The bees need mud to seal their cocoons, so it's important to have a water source nearby.

You could also build them a mason bee house.

Why Build A Mason Bee House?

Honey bees get most of the glory. But even though the mason bees don't produce honey, they still deserve our respect -- and a nice place to live.

Mason bees Are Environmentally Important

You hear a lot about the plight of the honey bee. But mason bees and other solitary bee species are just as important to the environment and the economy. Without the pollination services these busy bees provide, the world’s natural plant resources would diminish. Mason bees are active for more days of the year and more productive at pollination than honey bees.

Perfect For Homeschoolers And Classroom Educators

Honey bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are aggressive and may sting if they think you're threatening their hives. So, if you're searching for insect or gardening projects to do with your kids, easygoing mason bees are a better choice.

Have your homeschoolers design and build a bee condo. Encourage the class to keep a journal of their observations and record their findings each time you visit the mason bee house. Teach your students about the economy, the environment, and the life cycle of various bees.

How To Set Up A Mason Bee House

To attract mason bees and encourage their instinctive nesting activity, mount the mason bee house several feet off the ground. Ideally, under the eaves of your garage, home, or shed. Otherwise, look for a mason bee house that provides shelter from the heat, rain, and wind. Placing a bee house within 100 yards of your garden ensures they'll be working for you from early spring and through the fall. Consequently, the quality and quantity of your harvest will be enhanced.

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The Top 8 Mason Bee House Kits And Habitats

For this list, we searched hundreds of reviews and first-hand accounts, paying close attention to products that delivered on their promises and delighted their customers. We used Amazon as a convenient tool for comparison. These are our picks, listed in no particular order.

The Best Of Manson Bee House Comparison Table


1. Evergreen Garden Bee Habitat


Did you know a mason bee uses mud to build the walls between its cocoons? This mason bee house was designed to keep bees and their larvae safe from predators. The unit is solid rough-cut natural pine wood. It weighs 2.47 pounds, measuring 6.8 by 8 by 7.8 inches. The design features a copper strip on the roof. It has wooden tunnels with an open end and the other a closed end. You can mount this mason bee house on a fence post, tree, or building.

Evergreen Bee Habitat Wall Mounted
  • This stunning wall-mounted bee house gives you the chance to help provide bee populations with a safe habitat for...
  • Crafted from FSC certified wood, this bee house is sealed with a non-toxic, water-based finish Designed to mimic the...
  • Hang 5 to 7 feet high on a wall or fence that receives morning sunlight and is close to native plants and flowers

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$19.99

Design and Quality

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

The Evergreen Garden Bee Habitat rates 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Out of 85 written reports, 62 percent are 5-star rated. Customers love the habitat for the design, quality, and price. One 5-star reviewer wrote that it's his third mason bee house. He is happy with the quality and plans to buy more. This product sells for between $$ and $$.


2. Kibaga Hanging Mason Bee House


Did you know that the male mason bee's lifespan is three to six weeks? The short lifespan correlates with the bee's purpose. Males are the first to hatch and the first to die. Female mason bees forage from spring until the first burst of cold weather. The Kibaga house is a bamboo mason bee house with a thatched frame-shaped like a teardrop. Inside are 100 small hollow bamboo tubes, perfect for nesting mason bees. Dimensions for this hanging bee house are 10 by 6 by 4 inches, and it weighs 1.8 pounds. A hemp rope is most often used to hang this bee house. However, there are also brackets included for mounting. The Kibaga house is packaged in a corrugated cardboard gift box.

KIBAGA Mason Bee House - Handmade Natural Bamboo Bee Hive - Attracts...
  • BEE HIVE -Enjoy beautiful blooming flowers in your yard with the Kibaga natural bamboo bee house
  • BEE HOUSE - Attract bees with your fantastic bee hive and enhance productivity of pollination
  • BAMBOO BEE HOUSE - Provide a bee habitat & create a safe environment for native pollinator bees

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$19.97

Design and Quality

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, 73 percent of the reviews garner 5 stars. Customers love this product for its elegant design and quality. One 5-star reviewer says that this is their third mason bee house manufactured by Kibaga. This bee house sells for a range of $$ to $$.


3. Esschert Design WA02 Bee House


Did you know that Mason bees are better pollinators than honey bees? The Esschert WA02 is expertly crafted from solid pine and topped with a metal roof. This clever mason bee house is the perfect habitat not only for mason bees but for all single bee types. It also works for lacewings and ladybugs as well. The design is simple, attractive, and low maintenance. Coated metal mesh, tubes, and other features provide crevices that bees and other bugs use to nest. Dimensions are 4.5 by 5.5 by 8.8 inches, and the product weight is 1.6 pounds.

Esschert Design WA38 Bee House with Line Drawing
  • These hardly ever stinging bees help to fertilize plants and flowers in your garden
  • Naturally controls the level of parasites
  • A must-have for all nature-lovers

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$21.95

Design and Quality

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

Amazon customers give this product 4.0 out of 5 stars. Of the 72 written reports, 48 percent of reviewers gave it 5 stars. One reviewer who gave the product high marks says that within five hours of mounting it, there were already a few mason bees checking it out. You can purchase the Esschert WA02 bee box for $$ to $$.


4. Wildlife World Interactive Mason Bee Management System


Did you know that mason bees don’t create the boreholes? They take advantage of human-made holes and natural crevices. This bee management system allows you to observe all the goings on in the hive. It can be taken apart and has removable inspection trays which will enable easy access to the bees. The rough-cut hardwood is durable, and this mason bee house was made to last. This house is ideal for masons and other non-swarming bees.

Designed for educating kids and adults alike. It opens up easily to allow viewing of the mason bee colonies. The rustic wood construction and special paint help the bee house better weather the elements. It's designed to house hundreds of bees. Dimensions are 6.3 by 6.7 by 7.1, and the unit weighs 2.56 pounds.

Wildlife World Interactive Mason Bee Management System House
  • Fully Removable Inspection Trays For Easy Viewing
  • Constructed From FSC Certified Sustainable Timber
  • Supplied To Top Wildlife Conservation Organizations

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$35.15

Design and Quality

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

The Wildlife World Interactive Management system rates 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon. In total, 63 percent of 85 reviewers gave it 5 stars. One happy customer says she loves the high quality and that it was well worth any additional cost over other models. Prices range from $$ to $$.


5. Kinsman Giant Solitary Bee Nester


Did you know that a female mason bee will visit 75 flowers per trip? She will forage every day of her life making sure her babies have plenty of nourishment through the fall and winter. This tubular bee house nest holds more bee cells than any other mason bee house on the market. The Kinsman habitat is for solitary bees like masons, leaf-cutters, and red masons.

The cylindrical design makes this bee house perfect for fruit trees, soft fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Dimensions measure 6.5 by 3.5 by 3.5 inches. The bee house tube weighs less than one pound but holds over 360 bee cells.

Kinsman Giant Solitary Bee Nester with 68 Tubes
  • Massive Capacity Holding Up to 360 Bee Cells
  • Pollinators For Fruit Tree's, Soft Fruit, Flowers & Veg
  • Increase Yields With A Natural Way To Flourish

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$22.99

Ease of Use and Quality

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

The Kinsman Giant Solitary bee tube holds over 300 bees. Scoring 4.0 out of 5 stars and 59 percent 5-star Amazon reviews, this system looks like a winner. Customers love the size of the bee house, its ease of use, and the quality. Prices range between $$ and $$.


6. JC Wildlife Large Double-Wide Pine Mason Bee House


A mason bee will visit up to 2,400 blooms each day. Reward the bees with a double-wide mansion. The JC Wildlife house is beautifully handmade and everything you expect from JCs Wildlife brand of high-quality habitats at the lowest prices.


This mason bee house is US-made using poly-lumber -- a recycled wood product that is guaranteed not to crack. The interior has 16 rows of panels perfect for mason bees. This house is spacious. Removable charred pine panels lock in place and feature shelves that nest together. However, they are removable to make cleaning easier. The charred pine is used to lend a cozy, rustic look. Poly-lumber is stain proof and easier to clean and maintain than other similar structures. The double-wide measures 14 by 10 by 8 inches and weighs 10 pounds.

Double-Wide Large Poly Lumber and Pine Mason Bee House - Handmade in...
  • 16 Removable Routed Charred Pine Panels
  • Easy to Remove Locking Block
  • Resilient, Recycled Poly-Lumber Construction

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$75.00

Beautiful and Well Made

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

JC Wildlife - Double-Wide is a new product at Amazon, so there weren't many reviews. However, this product scores a 5.0 out of 5 stars. One reviewer describes how JC Wildlife products are beautiful and well made. He was impressed with the all stainless steel screw construction and routed edges. The price for this item is $$ to $$.


7. Grow And Make DIY Mason Bee Insect House Kit


During foraging, mason bees pollinate 90 percent of the flowers they visit. This do-it-yourself kit is simple and elegantly designed. It will keep your little one busy -- the perfect Sunday afternoon project. The simple mason bee house is efficient for native pollinators.


Is your son or daughter afraid of getting stung? Since these bees rarely sting, this is the perfect project to help children overcome their fears. They are gentle. You kids will enjoy the time spent with you making the bee house and making memories they will cherish.


This DIY kit is US-made. It offers a comfortable and low maintenance way to become a beekeeper. The package includes everything you need to get started (except the bees). Smaller than other mason bee houses, this comes with only 24 tubes. They are replaceable, though, so you can get the bee house ready for new nests each year.

Mason Bee House - Crack'n Special $25 Off - Viewing Window, Wildflower...
  • HUGE DISCOUNT - SAVE $25! NORMAL PRICE $44.99 : Our loss is your gain. Small % of houses have cracks near screws. Does...
  • BONUS 1: QUALITY BEE FOOD - BBB Seed wildflower seeds starter mix (open-pollinated seeds, non-GMO, no fillers) provides...
  • BONUS 2: EXPERT GUIDANCE INSTRUCTIONS - Do it yourself DIY pollinator house with easy to follow quick start education...

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Manson Bee House

Ratings, Reviews, Pricing

This DIY kit is a new item for Amazon and has no reviews yet. We included it because it represents a unique opportunity to engage with your kids about something that matters. This mason bee house is made from all recycled materials and certified sustainable. It has solid wood construction that uses locally sourced Douglas fir. This kit sells for $$ to $$.


8. Gardirect Luxurious Bee And Bug Hotel


Mason bees will only travel 100 yards from their nest. Use this information to plan your bee house locations strategically. The Gardirect Luxurious Bee and Bug Hotel is an attractive and spacious habitat. Did you know that Lacewings, ladybugs, and mason bees all coexist happily? Product dimensions are 16.6 by 11.6 by 4.1 inches. This habitat features solid wood construction.

Gardirect Luxurious Insect Hotel, Bee & Bug House, Large Size, 11'' x...
  • Made from naturally timber.
  • Interactive and educational, find and observe fascinating creatures in your garden.
  • There are numerous different rooms for the insects to nest.

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$15.95

Gardirect Luxurious Insect Hotel

Ratings, Reviews, And Pricing

This Gardirect habitat rates 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon. There are 18 written reviews, and 71 percent garner 5 stars. Customers are fascinated by the variety of insects this habitat attracts to their gardens. The Luxurious Bee and Bug Hotel costs between $$ and $$.


Choosing A Mason Bee House

The mason bee houses featured here were hand selected for exceeding customers' expectations. With a price range from $20 to $60, you can easily start a beekeeping hobby without breaking your budget.


It usually takes a few weeks before the bees move in and become active. Initially, bees find your mason box and the tubes through discovery. As spring approaches, you’ll want to have all of your nesting units and mason bee houses in place. And if you are in a temperate climate with lots of spring rain and wind, keep your mason bee homes protected from the elements by loosely covering them. If you do it right, you’ll have repeat guests.


Beekeeping is a fun activity for the whole family. Once your habitat becomes active, you’ll have plenty of bees to watch. Most people think that beekeeping is difficult, but it doesn't have to be, especially with low-maintenance mason bees.


Do you have a favorite mason bee house? Or perhaps some advice about raising these gentle creatures? Tell us about it in the comments!

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