Hi fellow bee lovers! I hope you all are well out there and enjoying the spring weather. It is starting to warm up in most places, which means the bees are starting to come out. This is the time when female native bees (non honey bees) will begin to emerge from hibernation and start looking for a place to build her nest. There is something that you can do to help these ladies…you can give her a bee condo. Yes…a bee condo. I had blogged about bee condos a while back and am re posting the directions again. This is the time to get them out and begin watching the magic while providing the valuable service of pollination to your garden flowers. Just remember…these will not attract honey bees, they will only attract solitary bees which are not aggressive.
So here is the low down on increasing the housing for bees:
Cut an angle at the top of the block because you will be putting a small roof on your bee house (see picture below). You can use a thinner piece of wood for the roof. Nail the roof on the top of the block making sure that the roof is long enough to protect the nest from rain and sun.
To make the actual cavities you can either use the same hole size for the entire block or you can use several different hole sizes to get different bees nesting in the same block. I tend to go for the second choice. You can use 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and 3/8″ hole sizes. Take your pick.
Drill holes about 3 inches deep for the small (1/8″, 3/16″) diameter and about 6 inches deep for the larger (1/4″, 3/8″) diameters, either in rows or in any pattern you would like. The bees are not that picky, as long as the holes are deep enough.
Drill a hole through the back (width), one near the top & bottom (to loop wire through so you can hang your nest) or drill one hole in the back center to hang the nest on a nail. The best place to hang the bee nest is near flowers or trees. Just nail it about 5-15 feet above the ground on a post, tree, or somewhere on the side of your house. Just make sure the nest is stable.
Hang your nest somewhere facing south, the bees like sunny places. Decorate the outside if you like!
Lastly…have fun bee-ing landlords!!!