To increase the population of pollinating bees in the community orchard, Greening Westbourne is helping wild mason bees to thrive.


We've installed a bee-friendly nest box in the community orchard in Hampshire Farm Meadows. In the spring we hatch out bee cocoons when blossom appears on the fruit trees and the weather conditions are right, probably in late March or April.

Through the summer, ‘our’ bees collect pollen, store it in nest tubes in their nest box, mate, lay eggs on the stored pollen and cap the tubes with mud.

Masons are solitary bees and do not sting unless severely provoked so they are safe with children and animals.

If all goes well, they look after themselves while pollinating the fruit trees and surrounding wild flowers and creating the next generation of bees. However, there can be brief periods of more intense activity when a patch of nearby soil has to be kept wet to provide the ‘masonry’ for the bees to cap their nest tubes. Capped tubes are collected, stored and replaced with new, empty tubes.

We sometimes have a surplus of cocoons which we can distribute to local people.

For more information contact us at