bumble bees and bee houses

Asked June 21, 2018, 4:11 PM EDT

We have a large "group" of big fuzzy bumblebees that seem to live in our barn. They do a great job of pollinating our garden and I actually converse with them about veggies while working there. They are so gentle that my grandchildren have no fear of them and we want to protect them in our organic garden.
Our son gave us a bee house for them but the label says for mason or solitary bees. Will our bumbles use this? I have been told that they have nests but have never seen the nests.
Will this invite other kinds of bees and, perhaps, cause conflict? I wonder if we should leave "well enough alone and perhaps put the bee house somewhere else instead of near our garden.
Nancy Burmeister

Mecosta County Michigan

1 Response

Bumble bees nest in abandoned rodent burrows and they build a new nest every spring. They will not use a nesting box made for mason bees. There is no harm in placing your mason bee house nearby. With any luck you’ll have some mason bees move in and will get even better pollination in your garden! Be sure to hang the mason bee house so that it is facing east to get the morning sun.