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linuxrunner 04-15-2013 06:26 PM

Do Mason Bee's Damage Stone?
We have an old Stone house and lately i have noticed we have a large number of what i think are mason bees living in little holes. They bees look to be all black and they will fly (one per hole) into a hole then fly out and drop a dusting of stone pieces then fly back and repeat in all day long. i have been noticing about 15 separate bees each with their own hole doing this. Anybody know if this is going to cause any long term damage besides slightly enlarging a 1/4in hole? The stone is over 1.5ft thick and because they don't seem to be making nests i figured should be no big deal.

joecaption 04-15-2013 08:11 PM

There called mason bees because they make nest out of mud not because they can chew concrete.
If they can get in a weep hole or some missing morter I can see where they just may build a nest in behind the brick wall.
I would just tuck point or fix any missing morter instead of trying to kill them.

Ocelaris 04-16-2013 09:11 AM

Mason bees are very cool, and are only really active in the spring, so it kinda makes sense they'd start being active. They actually sell them when they're dormant in these tubes.

Personally, I would make a mason bee house (or buy one for a couple bucks) and see if you can get them to vacate the house...

But if you're a fan of pollinators in general, you're lucky to have them. I plant lots of nectar and pollen strong plants in my perennial beds, and actively provide water for wasps etc... I'm not so sure about the bees, but the wasps are predatory and spend most of their time eating aphids and other bad bugs. I noticed my roses and vegetables were almost totally free of any pest bugs because I encouraged wasps, bees, pollinators etc... heavily. With that said, wasps are not welcome anywhere near my entrance to my house or places I regularly go. Mason bees, I wouldn't be as worried about, most solitary bees (bumblebees and mason bees etc...) aren't as territorial or aggressive as the big nest building bees/wasps. In my perennial bed which was swarming with wasps and bees of every kind I could basically touch them and have never been stung in the 3 years that we lived there (we just moved, so I have to start over).

Mason bees will seal up themselves up in those tubes come summer, with food , so I'd work quickly if you want to get rid of them, seal up the tube if you can make sure they're gone and provide a new place for them in one of those tube houses... My $.02

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