Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Recycled Bee House


I built my first "nonhoney bee" houses back in 2006 after watching a HGTV show about gardening with kids. One of their projects was a bee house made of bundled bamboo sections. It was geared to orchard mason bees who apparently are mighty powerful native pollinators, even though they are just wee little things.

I went out, cut some of my bamboo, and bundled it together with zip ties. These were placed all about PFHQ and in no time they were all plugged up and occupied.

As it turns out, they are probably being used by leafcutter bees since, as one of my visitors pointed out, orchard mason bees are more of a cool weather critter.
(PF commentators are like waaaay smart)

This winter I made a different style bee house.

It's just a scrap piece of untreated 2x4 with a few holes drilled in it.
I trimmed one end into a roofy lookin' point so the fancy metal roof would fit snugly.
After the holes were drilled, I pounded short sections of bamboo through the block.
Then, an old license tag was bent over the top of the wood and tacked on with a few nails.


Every room in the new Tin Roof Inn is occupied now, and the older bee bundle houses from 2006 are beeing reused with fresh plugs of mud.

I hung this one next to some of the older ones near my blueberry bushes.

I have a bumper blueberry crop slowly ripening while my Kashi Go Lean Crunch anxiously waits their colorful arrival.

Coinkydink?

Could bee, but I beelieve those bountiful berries just might bee a thank you note from my tenants.

17 comments:

Dr. Know said...

It's a great project, no? You can do similar with tree trunk and limb sections drilled with numerous holes, as well as clustered bamboo sections. There is always room for another non-human tenant in my tiny corner of the world - they sure need the help.
As for the puns... well, don't quit your day job. ;-)

SwampAngel65 said...

I don't get it. So the bees just hang out in the tiny bamboo "tubes"? I've only seen the large boxes in the vegetable fields here.

Doug Taron said...

I keep hearing about orchard bee houses, but I have yet to try one myself. I guess it's time. I really like the design of Tin Roof Inn. Perhaps you should call it The Love Shack. "Your tin roof....rusted" The Bee-52s

threecollie said...

Speaking of coincidence, while visiting here (yeah, yeah, I am goofing off when I am supposed to be working) I am also working on a short piece for my newspaper column on what is going to be pollinating our untended apple orchard in light of colony collapse disorder....maybe it will be little bees like those of which you speak. There was certainly something buzzing around in them last night and it wasn't honey bees.

roger said...

beeeeutiful.

freste2715 said...

I guess it takes a talented Eastern carpenter to craft such a fine home. All this Time I thought you were the King of Pain but I am sure you do this All for Love. Last time I bumbled across a grapefuit sized wasp nest I had to throw on my yellow jacket then run and hive to avoid the critters. What a pain in the nectar, dude. You have inspired me to try to get a few pics of some Apis mellifera. Should be pretty easy as the weather swarming up finally.

robin andrea said...

What a great idea, fc. Roger and I both just said, we're doing this at our next place.

TUFFENUF said...

OK, I have said it before, I LOVE YOUR BLOG. (that was cool watching an egg-eating snake!) Pardon my stupidity, but why does the bee house need a roof?

Floridacracker said...

Doc,
I need to try the limb thing. I actually have carpenter bees using a piece of cedar I was saving for carving.
Oh well...

Swampangel,
These are solitary bees who fill the tubes with their young and then seal it off with a mud plug.
The larva grow, pupate, and then chew their way out through the mud as adults.

Doug,
Bee 52's LOL!
Wish I had thought of that.
You should try this.

3C,
The honey bee crisis is a quiet scary thing.

roger,
it's important to beecycle.

Freste,
Search this blog under "Stupid Things I Have Done" for my wasp story.

Robin,
I'm sure roger's will be better constructed than my 15 minute project!

Tuffy,
It probably doesn't, but I was recycling a license tag and here, it does keep the sun and rain off a bit.
Glad you are enjoying PF!

Dani said...

That's cool, I wanna make one now. Can you put them anywhere??

Floridacracker said...

Dani,
I hung them under the eaves of my porch, my shed, ... just about anywhere.
All of mine are active.

Emily said...

I've never seen a bee house built this way (although I built my very first bat house last night!) And, FYI - UF has a new Master Beekeeper College you might be interested in.

Floridacracker said...

Emily,
Congrats on that bat house. I built one last year for a friend, but now I owe myself one.

Susan said...

I like the mix of humor and education on this blog. THANKS. I've never heard of bee houses before, and I'm 50-something.

freste2715 said...

Jeebus kites.... well ummmm that's what lessons are made from, eh? Got my 'dorphins jumping just from reading that. Isn't that the greatest feeling though, right when the little fellers started Morse coding your windshield?

Dr. Know said...

I do a little woodworking myself, so I feel your pain concerning the block of cedar. Wood, and so many other natural products, are becoming a bit limited in availability.

Someone upthread, Emily methinks, mentioned bat houses. These are great, but even better is the guano - the best da#ned fertilizer I've found for your garden plants.

As for the honey bees, here is one odd hypothesis to explain Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Bee My Honey - Just Don't Call On The Cell Phone

And finally, FC, it appears you've been spammed. Spam, spam, spam, spam...

Floridacracker said...

Susan,
Well, I was 48 when I heard of them, so don't feel bad.

Freste,
Pretty wild huh?

Doc,
SIGHTED SPAM, SANK SAME.