Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Home for the Bees

I have wanted to keep bees for a long time now. You see, my Grandpa Krause was a beekeeper back in Humbolt Co. and it has always fascinated me... BUT! I have taken a solemn vow to hold off on the hives until I graduate from Vet School. Now, while that vow is still safe, I do have a new home for bees in my garden!!! HURRAY!

It's for Mason Bees!  

 I've been hearing for years from Mike McGrath on "You Bet Your Garden," that native pollinators are just as (or more) important to gardens as the non-native honey bee. So, when I recently discovered that these poor guys had been trying to live in the handle of one of my watering cans, and then drowning, I decided to build them a little condo. I also turned the can upside down. Hopefully they'll get the hint. 

I have found this project to be really, really simple and very cheap. 

What I used:

-a drill
-a 5/16 drill bit
-a piece of scrap wood (preferably un-treated)
- 3 screws 
- a fence post (near the garden)

 This is the scrap piece of wood that was left over from a garden bed I put in out front. I am unsure if it's treated. 
 These are the bits that I had to choose from. In my very brief research I found out that 5/16 inch was the size hole that mason bees prefer to live in. LUCKY ME, we had that size. 

I drilled a very crude hole in the back to fit over the screw so it could hang from the fence. 

Then I Drilled 
a lot.

I kinda felt like a "Maverick!" 

Pretty Nice
 I did have to put a few extra screws under the condo as bracing. I think this may have had something to do with the crudeness of the hanging hole. 
I have the "Bee Condo" kinda highlighted in the background.

I think if I make another one I'll put more holes in it or maybe do something like this. All in all, I think this project went pretty well. If I see any tenants I'll post an update.

Here is a link to instructions to build a Mason Bee House
Here's a nice house you can purchase that my buddy and classmate Andy found. (It seems us vet students are often geeks in similar ways)

(another link to Mason Bees)


The hens enjoying some watermelon. Those poor girls are really stressed by this heat.

 I mowed around the pumpkins. So far, even with some squash bugs, they are growing well. Although, I haven't seen them setting any fruit.

1 comment:

  1. Look how handy your are.
    Love the chickens with the watermelon. What a treat for them. Hope you all survived the heat.