841.01 Clay for Mason Bees
[caption id="attachment_9275" align="alignnone" width="300"] Four mason bees busy foraging for wet clay at the base of a one foot deep hole. Digging activities by the bees leaves a miniature cave system in the clay bank.[/caption]
Mason bees need clay when they begin nesting. If there is no clay available, bees go elsewhere to nest. If your soil is sandy or very organic, you will need to make clay available for your mason bees.
One bag of clay is sufficient for one bee home per season.
Prepare clay by mixing with water. Add enough water to mix into a wet mass. Then, within about 10' of your mason bee home, dig a hole the width of a shovel and about a foot deep. Place wet clay into the hole and onto the base of the north facing wall. The soil in the hole will keep clay damp. If the clay looks like it is getting dry, wet it down with some water.
In a lot of soils the first layer is organic, and perhaps a foot or so down is the mineral layer, mostly of clay and sand. If your garden has this type of soil, you do not need additional clay.