Bee Houses

Look what Littlun and fiance made today!

wpid-imag0179-1.jpgTis a Bee House!! They used one of those cube shelves that you see in packs of 3, painted it to match the raised beds, and then cut bamboo canes to fit. Cool, huh?

The little house you see above it was bought last year for not much money – a couple of quid – and you can see all the little holes where the bees have emerged from them this year.

I have been itching to blog about our bees, but have been waiting on photographs from the youngsters, but I have one now ha!!

Hopefully more will arrive on my devices soon to show you.

We started looking after the bees in our garden about 4 years ago when we spotted a leaf-cutter bee taking pieces of leaf into a hole in the soil of a plant pot. I had never seen it before, and had only vaguely heard of leaf-cutter bees. Basically they dig a little hole, line it with small sections of leaf, lay their eggs and then seal the hole up.

Prompted by that we bought our first bee house, and in the first year we had 4 of the little compartments filled up with little ‘nests’. The next year I think there was only 1 hole not used, so we bought the house at the top of the photo, and you can see how many bees made use of it 🙂

They are Mason Bees, by the way. Solitary bees who do not hive. Here’s a bit of info http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Mason_bee

We have been watching as they emerge, and have some great photos. My son-in-law-to-be stood very still for about 5 minutes taking video of the bees coming and going as they prepare new holes for their eggs, and all this activity prompted the addition of a new house. I am hoping to get my hands on an edited bit of video to show you too 🙂

The bees are loving our new lavender bush and the dandelions in the grass at the moment as they leave pollen inside the ‘nest’ for the new generation to feed on. She will lay more than one egg in each ‘nest’ with females at the back and males to the front. Unfortunately, the males die after mating.

Humans NEED bees. Without bees, it wouldn’t be just a case of no honey. Without bees to polinate our plants, there would be no food, basically, and widespread use of pesticide has destroyed too many of our bees already. Although some lethal substances have been banned for a couple of years, there is concern that this just isn’t enough to save our bees. Many species are already extinct.

Mason bee numbers have also been depleted due to mature trees being cut down.

If you grow your own fruit and veg, your crops will benefit from having these cute little guys in your garden. Even a small roll of bamboo canes at the side of a wall will give them somewhere to nest, but they seem to prefer high places.

We haven’t quite got the 5 types of rare bees we had nesting in the garden like we did a few years ago, when we couldn’t use one of the compost bins due to a small hive in there, but it’s early in the year yet 😀

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16 Responses to Bee Houses

  1. Vicky Louise says:

    Ooh I love watching the chubby looking bees dancing about the garden doing their thing. I’ve never thought about nests! Since my flowering skills are rather poor I might as well make my garden pretty with wild life, creatures that might even help my plants too! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good on ya, mate! We’ve started planting more bee-friendly bushes in our back yard, and hope to include some in the front.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. so cool!! I never knew there were solitary bees. I’ve been hearing lately our bee population was in trouble so this makes such good sense. Thanks for bee-ing informative. Sorry. had to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moongazer says:

      😀 Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. It’s only a few years ago that I found out there were solitary bees too. They are so crucial to our survival, it’s quite astonishing really. I read a story about a guy who grew berry fruits, and all the honey bees went to a nearby cherry tree and ignored all his little raspberry and blueberry plants, so he had hardly any berries, so he encouraged solitary bees instead because honey bees communicate the best pollen source to each other and then use that until it’s gone, whereas solitary bees just find what’s local, so they have a big part to play for anyone growing their own stuff 🙂

      Like

  4. Lovely post! I would totally love there if I was a bee. 🐝

    💕
    Emory
    helloscarlettblog.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pedanticscouser says:

    looks good, some old house have bee holes in them, purposely made i think

    PS. found this by searching for you as you didnt appear on my WP front page thingy, was just the email thingy i got

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moongazer says:

      I never knew that. Another case of previous generations knowing better maybe?
      Yeah, it sucks doesnt it?! I really wish they’d fix that. There is a link in my post about problems with the reader from a couple of months ago – go add your voice to the forum thread and remind them it needs fixing 🙂

      Like

  6. Donna says:

    That is awesomely awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. lydiaa1614 says:

    While I am horribly allergic to and therefore afraid of wasps, I have always found bees fascinating. I never knew there were bees who didn’t hive. Thanks so much for the lesson and the pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moongazer says:

      Ouch! Wasps are nasty enough without being allergic to them as well. Summer must be very difficult for you at times 😦
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. If we hadn’t spotted that little leaf cutter bee that day, I wouldn’t have learned so much over the last couple of years.
      We haven’t cut our grass because of the mason bees. Because they don’t range very far to collect pollen we have left the bright show of dandelions for them, but now the Horse Chestnut trees are in flower, we can finally cut the grass again lol – except that it’s done little but rain all week and it’s not only too wet but growing rapidly. Might have to borrow a strimmer, methinks :p

      Like

  8. Pingback: Bees …Beautiful Bees | Chaos, Cats and Chronic Pain

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