It’s March and I see from BWARS that more bees are being spotted and so it’s time to get your solitary bee houses out and sited in safe and convenient places. Being here in the UK for a few months, I hope to get or make one very soon. I have been looking round the garden for a suitable location. A sunny south/southeast wall or hanging spot and at least a meter from the ground. There are some very nice looking bee houses for sale but of you prefer a DIY approach it is not too difficult.
Do have a look these excellent pages about making bee houses on Marc Carltons’s “Foxleas” site.
He has very good and comprehensive information about how you make them and why you make them the way they are, and as well as small houses he advocates larger and more luxurious homes
“It is easy to make a larger house for solitary bees. I first saw one like this in Switzerland in the early 1980s. Since then I have seen them on several occasions in Germany and Switzerland, but curiously they are rare in the UK. It is time to put that deficiency right!”
This is a section of a large “house”. A series of rather nice insect apartments with different sized holes to suit different sized occupants. I think I will be going for the bundle of hollow sticks approach this year. I hope someone will come.. anyone really…and as Marc says:
“Various other sorts of parasitic solitary wasps and parasitic bees will find your bee house once it is occupied, preying on, or taking over, the nest cells of mason bees. Don't worry about them, they are all part of the fascinating community of insects.”
With a bit of luck it will be home to some of these… a sketch for my next painting, a little osmia bee.
Marc Carlton’s bee house instructions at Foxleas.com.
** Also see Gary´s post on his excellent insect and bee houses! here at Gary's Garden