Having a small box as a nesting place for the red mason bee provides an alternative.
red mason bee nests can be ordered from The Oxford Bee Company on 01509 261654 or at www.
THE BUZZ: Mike Townsend with neighbour Julia Reeve, aged five; TAKING THE STING OUT OF BEE-KEEPING: Susanne Reeve, aged nine, finds out more about the red mason bee , by regularly visiting her neighbour's garden.
He says although a box for red mason bees will not lead to a supply of honey, it will provide entertainment from watching them at work, and the satisfaction of giving nature a helping hand.
red mason bees may not operate in the same numbers as honey bees but they are more efficient.
Just by having a few of these solitary red mason bees you're doing a lot of good in the garden," says Mike.