Friday, January 9, 2009

bee condo!

The fantastic idea below came from my Select Seeds newsletter! I plan to try it:

Home-Made Sweet Home

It's easy to build a "Bee Condo" for native bees!
This information comes from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (

gift certificate bee box 2

Create homes for native bees!
Many of the wild bees you may encounter in your backyard garden make their burrow homes in the soil. Some bees create hives in snags (a dead or dying standing tree, often with its branches broken off), or in holes in trees. You can also encourage bee-residents by providing man-made nesting blocks or "Bee Condos."

A 4"x6" or 6"x6" dried pine or fir post (or
you can try a weathered fence post or
other scrap wood) Drill and drill bits, a variety of diameters, ranging from 1/4 in. to 3/8 in.
Paper straws - not plastic (available
at some hardware stores, or through
a scientific supply store), or small
hollow sticks, with one end sealed
A warm location protected from rain
and predators.

1. Cut the wooden posts into blocks 8-12 in. long.
2. Drill holes into the wood blocks using a variety of hole diameters from 1/4 in. to 3/8 in.
Drill holes 3-5 in. deep, and at least 3/4 in. apart. Smooth out ragged edges of holes.
3. Alternatively, a bundle of paper straws or hollow sticks, with one end sealed, will make
an attractive bee home.

4. Bees prefer dark colored homes, so consider charring the front of your "Bee Condo"
lightly with a torch.
5. Mount your "Bee Condo" on a post or attach to the side of a building. Place nesting blocks so that tunnels are horizontal. Make sure they are in a warm location with southern exposure and protected from rain. A good place could be under the eaves of a garage or shed.

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