Late last year I bought a bee nest box for our garden. With spring approaching we are getting it ready to go outside.
It’s by Wildlife World and it’s for garden bumblebees so it has one large nesting chamber, quite different from the boxes with multiple holes or tubes for solitary bees.
The box came with some nesting material already inside, I just needed to line the bottom with corrugated card.
The lid slides off so we can look inside easily. The perspex underneath slides out, making the inside of the box easy to access.
As far a I understand it, we can’t use wood preservative as the bees won’t like it. We try and make things last, so we decided to make a roof to keep the rain off, but also one that won’t prevent us taking the lid off to spy on the bees!
We bought a small sheet of aluminium, cut it to size (with a little overlap), and roughed it up a bit.
I painted it with primer first..
And then with green paint. We only have green, black and red so we thought green would blend in better and heat up less than the black.
When we attach this to the lid of the box the plan is to use spacers so there will be air circulation between the metal and the wood. The idea is not to create too much heat build up by adding this roof. We’ll see how it goes!
The box does already have vent holes. It also has feet to prevent moisture getting up into the box, but I plan on placing it on a concrete brick as well. As per the instructions it will be placed south facing, but sheltered by a shrub.
We plan on using a partially buried tube, with drainage, for access to the box to improve our chances of getting tenants. If we do get bees, hopefully I can get some pictures without disturbing them.
This is as far as we’ve got so far, more to come.
This is our solitary bee box. 5 holes were plugged up last year. I took this shot on the 20th of January and 4 out of 5 holes are now empty. Hopefully that means the new bees ate their way out and are doing OK. I wonder if it isn’t a bit early though…