Friday, 14 August 2015

Solitary Bee Houses for the Bees, and You

Des Res Mosaic Garden Solitary Bee House

As I've got a lot of solitary bees using my bee houses this year I thought I'd make them some posh houses to use, that are totally practical for them, but are also a nice bit of colour and design for you to look at too. The first one I've called the Des Res Solitary Bee House and it has a slate roof with a mosaic design of a bee against blue skies on both sides. The wooden tube is painted in pale sky blue with a white face. The tube is totally handmade and is specifically cut to be the exact size to hold the perfect length of tube for one solitary bee to make one whole nest in one tube. The bee will lay an egg at the far end, then gather some pollen to leave in with the egg (so the baby bee has something to eat when it hatches), then the bee creates a chamber for that egg using either a piece of leaf, if it's a Leaf Cutter Bee, or a plug of mud, if it's a Red Mason Bee. It'll repeat that process right up to the end of the tube where it'll plug the end and you'll know there's a nest in the tube and which bee made it. Fascinating.

Coastal Mosaic Garden Solitary Bee House

The second version of the posh bee houses is called Coastal Solitary Bee House. This one has a fully mosaiced striped roof using the colours of the coast with sea blues and greens, and sky blues, and pastel painted wood. All the bamboo canes are removeable from both designs so when the nests have hatched in spring, the tubes can be replaced. You can buy exact size replacements, or you can cut some yourself, ready for the bees looking to make their new nests in late spring / early summer.

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