Mason Bee carrying grass to cover nest in snail shell

Mason bees

Mason bees are solitary, and don't form colonies or honey, like many other bee species. This skillful group of bees get its name from their use of mud in building nest compartments, rather like a stone mason constructing a house. Many mason bees nest inside reeds or hollow wood, but some British species make their nests in empty snail shells. After mating, the males soon die, but it's all go for the female. She collects pollen and nectar for the nest, then lays her eggs inside, males at the front and females at the back.

Scientific name: Osmia

Rank: Genus

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The Mason bees can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, North America, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Mason bees distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

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