Bamboo Bee House
Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2009
Orchard mason bees are terrific pollinators, and they rarely sting, so they are a boon to any backyard. But unlike honeybees, these solitary bees don't make hives; they seek shelter in narrow openings, such as the hollows of reeds and holes in trees.
You can make your garden more inviting for them by constructing a bee house. Bamboo reeds, which are inexpensive and readily available at garden centers, make an ideal building material for this project. Just cut a long piece (1/2- to 3/4-inch diameter) into several 6-inch lengths using a sharp, fine-tooth pruning saw.
Then tie them together with waxed twine, and place the bundle between tree branches so that it's sheltered. Your flowers, fruits, vegetables, and apiarian guests will thank you.