Putting up bird houses so our feathered friends can find a place to raise their young is something lots of gardeners regularly do. But how about providing the same amenities to our native bees? Besides filling the garden with native plants that offer food and habitat to these important pollinators, you can also add some constructed nesting boxes to your landscape. The wooden boxes offer nesting spots for the many native bees that nest in hollow or pithy stemmed woody plants, such as carpenter, leaf cutter, masked and mason bees.
Pollination Guelph, a Canadian organization that is dedicated to the conservation and development of pollinator habitat for current and future generations, has put together some easy instructions for building, placing, and maintaining the bee nests. Early spring is the best time to put out new nests, so now is a great time for a fun weekend project -- and a great one to do with kids -- that will help our native pollinators.