Wild Bees forage close to home and therefore need suitable nesting sites nearby. Artificial nesting sites are fun and easy to make:
You Will Need:
- Garden twine
- 20cm piece of plastic drain pipe (10-15cm diameter)
- Bamboo canes
- Hammer and nail
Trim your drainpipe so that it’s around 20cm long. Make 2 small holes at either side of the drainpipe and thread through your garden twine so that you can hang your hotel.
Cut your bamboo canes into segments shorter than your piece of drainpipe. Push the canes into the drainpipe. It might be a good idea to wedge some smaller twigs or plant stems in with them to ensure that the bamboo canes are firmly in place.
Try to hang the pipe on a south-facing wall where it’s protected from the wind, but can still receive plenty of sunlight. Drill a nail into this wall and hang the pipe with the twine. Hang it about a metre high with a slight slant so that rainwater doesn’t enter the bamboo canes.
Once a bee has laid eggs in the canes, they will seal it with mud. Red mason bees will collect mud and use it to create individual birth chambers by partitioning the canes. Leafcutter bees will use leaves to create this chamber and to seal the canes. Therefore, if you see a bee carrying pieces of mud or leaves, you know your bee hotel has been a success!
If you have the time and the space to take it a step further, you could expand your bee hotel to a larger structure using wooden pallets placed upon top of one another. Cut your bundles of bamboo, hay/straw, and top them with turf to keep away the rain.
If not, but you’re still eager to get involved, you can check out our range of bee hotels: just click here
Share with us!
If you have any questions about constructing an artificial nesting site, contact us on social media- @CountryLifeGC links in the footer. Don’t forget to share a photo of the finished product and tag us, we’d love to see!
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