Instead of keeping honeybees, we're trying something else: Mason bees. They're very different from honeybees. They don't live together in a hive or make honey. No queens or colony of worker bees. Instead, they mate as pairs and lay their eggs in their own individual tubes. These docile, gentle bees are native to the US and Canada. You may have seen Mason bees but mistook them for flies. When young they are small and black. But look closely to notice their black furry legs and body and long antenna.
After they mate in the spring, the female lays an egg inside a deep hole, adds some pollen (food for the larvae), and then seals it up with a bit of mud. The female repeats that, laying eggs, adding pollen and sealing with mud to create many chambers per hole. The larvae hatch in the summer, spin cocoons, and then hibernate all winter. They emerge next spring as adult bees and the cycle repeats.
You can buy pre-made mason bee houses at your local hardware or garden store, but making a Mason Bee house is easy. Here's a design I came up with that uses hardware cloth (like "chicken wire") for the main body. That allows easy access for the bees to go in and out but keeps out foraging critters, like birds and squirrels. The slanted wood top has enough overhang to keep them dry but with plenty of ventilation. The wood back holds it all together and provides an easy method to hang the house on a fence, tree or post. I used unfinished cedar for natural resistance to weather. When finished, hang your bee house on a fence or mount it on a sturdy cedar stake.