About Mason Bees
Mason bees are a solitary bee (unlike honeybees that live in colonies) that are known for their excellent pollination abilities. They are 'kept' or more accurately cultivated by people who want pollinators for early blooming crops like fruit trees.
Female Mason bees make their nests in holes and can be attracted to an area hanging up mason bee houses for them to nest in. These houses can be made easily and inexpensively as well as purchased commercially.
Why Keep Mason Bees?
Mason bees are about 100 times better at pollination than honeybees
Mason bees don't sting--unless you smash them
Adding a diverse mix of bees to the pollination of gardens and crops greatly enhances a more thorough pollination
Mason bees seem to be resistant to many of the diseases that are threatening the honey bee population
Mason bees don't require medications and supplements to keep them alive
Mason bee houses can be built from scrapes and virtually cost nothing
Because there are no hives to protect, killer bees and other unwanted pests won't be trying to invade your Mason bees
You won't have to worry about the possibility of swarming
They're SUPER EASY to get into!
Disadvantages to Keeping Mason Bees
There really aren't too many disadvantages ...unless your wanting honey. Mason bees aren't honey producers.
Mason bees also have a short pollination season which only lasts while they store up pollen for their eggs and lay their eggs before they die.
Other information you might find helpful:
Starting with Bees
How to Feed Honeybees
Keeping Bees (Mason vs. Honey)
About Mason Bees
How to Build a Mason Bee House