Are you tired of masonry bees buzz around your property? Get in here, we’ve compiled a guide on how to get rid of masonry bees effectively to prevent their potential damage to your property.
These gentle pollinators may be good for some things, but the way they build their nests can be bad for your house. This article will talk about many things about masonry bees, such as how they behave, natural ways to keep them away, home treatments, and whether you should keep them around. Keep Reading!
What Are Mason Or Masonry Bees?
Masonry bees, whose formal name is Osmia, are a type of solitary bee that is very important for pollinating many plants. In contrast to honeybees, brick bees live alone, with each female building and feeding her own nest.
For this reason, people often call them “masonry” or “mortar” bees because they like to build their nests in mortar joints, soft bricks, and other small cracks in buildings.
Compared to other bee types, these ones are less dangerous to people because they are not aggressive and don’t sting very often. Masonry bees are usually smaller than other bees. They come in a range of colors, from shiny blues and greens to browns and blacks.
The way masonry bees build their nests is very different from other bees. The female bee finds a good place to build her nest, which is usually in a hole or gap in the wall that already exists, and then she builds each cell inside the nest.
Then, a mix of nectar and pollen is put into each cell, and an egg is laid inside. When the female is done building a cell, she seals it with mud or plant matter that she has chewed. This makes a number of unique cylindrical cells inside the nesting site.
When Are Masonry Bees Active?
Masonry bees, or Osmia, are most abundant in the spring and early summer. This period aligns with their reproductive and nesting phases, as they emerge from overwintering chambers.
During this time, females look for good places to lay their eggs, mate, and gather nectar and pollen for their homes. Knowing when these solitary pollinators are active is important for homeowners who want to take effective control steps to get rid of them.
Read also: Why Does My Dog Eat Bees?
What Damage Do Masonry Bees Cause?
Masonry bees are not dangerous to people, but they can damage buildings by building nests in mortar joints and soft bricks. Their digging damages surfaces over time, which is bad for both looks and structure. Homeowners should be careful, checking their yards often and taking control measures to keep damage to a minimum while living with these pests.
What Can I Feed Mason Bees?
People don’t need to feed mason bees extra food. They usually go to flowering plants in their area to get nectar and pollen.
To help them, plant a variety of flowers that bees like in your yard. This will give these important pollinators a wide range of natural foods to eat.
How Long Do Mason Bees Last?
Mason bees live a few weeks to a few months, depending on conditions. Mason bees have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The average mature mason bee lives 4–6 weeks.
This time includes spring emergence from overwintering chambers, mating, nesting, and foraging. Mason bee females lay eggs in nest cells with nectar and pollen throughout their active phase. After hatching, larvae eat food and become adult bees.
Do Masonry Bees Produce Honey?
No, Honey is not produced by mason bees. Masonry bees live a very different lifestyle than honeybees, which have specialized worker bees that collect nectar and transform it into honey.
Instead of storing honey, mason bees prioritize making nests and raising their young. So, masonry bees don’t generate any honey, not even in tiny quantities.
Read also: Valley Carpenter Bee: Facts & Behaviors
What Repels Masonry Bees Instantly?
There are a few natural repellents you can try if you’re having trouble with masonry bees. Bees can be scared away with the help of citrus oils like lemon or orange oil.
These oils can be combined with water and sprayed in areas where masonry bees are a problem. Peppermint oil is still another alternative, as the pungent aroma is off-putting to masonry bees.
What Home Remedy Gets Rid Of Bees?
While living peacefully alongside bees is always advised, there are several home remedy measures you can take if their presence becomes a threat or annoyance like:
- Peppermint Oil: Masonary bees dislike the strong fragrance of peppermint oil. Spraying a mixture of water and peppermint oil over locations where bees are a bother will help.
- Cucumber Peel: Bees are scared away by the smell of cucumber peels. Put cucumber peels near places where bees like to hang out to keep them away.
- Vinegar: Water and white vinegar can be mixed together and sprayed around places where bees are active. Strong smells can scare bees away, and the smell of vinegar may do just that.
How To Get Rid Of Masonry Bees
If the presence of masonry bees is making you feel a little uneasy, here are some steps you can take to get rid of them:
- Seal Entry Points:
Look for and seal any holes, cracks, or other entry points in wooden buildings that masonry bees could use as nesting sites. This can help keep them from settling down in inappropriate places to raise their young.
- Using Natural Repellents:
Masonry bees are sensitive to some scents. You can make a spray using water and citrus oils (lemon or orange) or peppermint oil to keep them away from your home or garden.
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth:
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth that is safe for human consumption around the perimeter of the area. While safe for people and pets, this chemical may be too abrasive for bees’ exoskeletons and so drive them away.
- Consult Professionals:
Consult local beekeepers or pest control professionals if the masonry bee infestation is large or if you lack confidence in your ability to manage it. They can assist and propose solutions that are safe for both you and the bees.
Read also: Essential Oils that Repel Bees
More on How To Get Rid Of Masonry Bees
Here’s a video that explains How To Get Rid Of Bees:
By learning about how they behave, using natural repellents, and looking into home treatments, you can find a balance or take effective steps to get rid of masonry bees.
Whether you choose to live with them or get rid of them, being proactive will help you keep a healthy balance between your land and these important pollinators. Keep in mind that dangerous substances are to be avoided in order to protect the bees and the environment.