Free Accommodation

DizzyBlue

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Free accommodation available now.
Free food all organic with no pesticides or artificial growth items used.
Easterly facing morning sun trap with view on to grassed area, aviary and cotton easter bushes, grape vines and passion flowers within easy travel.
Sheltered from wind and over hanging roof way above that will stop any rain hitting the front doors.
No need to apply no references no financial deposits just turn up!
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Yup the solitary bee boxes are up and ready with a couple available spots for other insects to move into. :)
Those are the start of my hanging baskets below and will be replaced with other bee and butterfly friendly plants in pots.
 

TomsMum

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When the builders put in our double glazed units they didn’t bother to put the little plastic caps over the drain holes in the frames and we used to get the mason bees into the holes...I have one of the bee boxes by the patio doors.
 

DizzyBlue

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@Beaky
This thread was when I started my bee accommodation addiction.....

These days lets just say its errr expanded a fair bit more ... and now having to expand more as they boxes are already full and bees are still coming and looking especially as my cotton easter bush has just started flowering in the garden.

This is some of the accommodation ....
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Then I found out about instead of the little house shaped ones they actually do love a spare piece of wood with holes drilled in.
So tried it out last year and had every one hatch this is what it looks like when the holes get filled
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So this afternoon long plank of wood lots of different sized holes drilled in as different species like different sizes. I also tack a bit of old roofing felt on the top to make sure the wood doesn't get soaked. Probably would be better if I just used a slice of wood from a tree and left the bark on.
My bee boxes face roughly easterly for morning sunshine. Lets not get started on my bat boxes that face southerly and they have little occupants in them as well.

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I take any large splinters out although the bee's are happy to do that themselves.

And hung it up and within 10 minutes ...... already being checked out
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Also have multiple tubs of bee friendly flowers on the go for them like to use blues and purples as these also attract lots of butterflies and moths, have also planted a butterfly bush and a few other things just for them.
 

DizzyBlue

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Not the neatest of assemblies could have been made prettier but the bees are happy which is all that counts for me
 

DizzyBlue

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I use wood that has a depth of 2 and a half inches and the holes drilled are about half that depth.
Optimal holes for mason bees are at least 8 to 10 mm in diameter with a length of 150mm internally some like deeper some like a little wider but that's the optimal for them.
Since I encourage different types of bees I do a variety of different size width.
The end of the hole at the back must be sealed so I ensured that the wood is thicker so I didn't drill to the end and made sure that the wood doesn't get wet soaking anything up.
End of year nests in tubes are next year's bees. The larvae can live in there for up to 9 months. Bees fill the tube with enough pollen for the young to survive. Some of the mining bees species lay a few eggs into the next hence needing depth for young to grow and not be cramped.
You can watch the females going in and out transporting pollen into the store then at some point you will see her reverse in to lay then add more pollen then reverse again filling the hole. At the end she will build the plug to keep her treasure safe :)

oh and they will clean the nest holes out next year after larvae hatch to use again just don't be tempted to do it yourself until the young have hatched.
 

DizzyBlue

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Oh and don't hang them too low down they like to be above knee level I have found the ones at or slight above waist height but below head height (I am 5ft 6) are the best heights they like. Warmth from the morning sun in spring time coming to summer tells the young when its time to emerge and they push and chew the plug end cap out and then its bees away!
@Beaky
 

DizzyBlue

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These are for solitary bee species not swarm of ground burrowing types.
Things like the species of red mining bees are very gentle and docile.
will have to find a home made diagram of a ground hive for bumble bees they're easy to make but I haven't had a lot of success with them as local frogs newts and toads seem to decide it's for them :watchout:
 

Wendy Cooper-Wolfe

Regular Member
We get slot of the ground nesting bees here, they love the warm, dry bank of grass. We also see white tailed bees, buff tailed bees, carder bees, big black bees and probably some honeybees too as there are hives not far away.
We are also seeing three large bats each evening too.
 

DizzyBlue

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Oooo forgot to tell you about bee CPR :oops: @Beaky
Sometimes in the spring the temperature can drop sharply and if a bee hasn't had chance to get into shelter you find them on the ground slowly perishing :( also if one is caught in your house and can't get to its food source you find them collapsed and just occasionally lifting a leg but hardly moving.
Simple fix to get them up and running again in a little warm water with a little sugar or honey or even a little jam mixed in. (If its is outside gently bring it in they are delicate so be patient in getting it on to a bit of paper or something like that to carry it in.) Pop solution in front of the bee don't let any of it get on the bee we don't want a sticky mess or the bee drowning anyway bee will immediately detect it and will instantly stick out its tongue and drink and revive itself within a few minutes bee will be up and running again ready to go forage or head home.
I have done it numerous times successfully with very few losses. Mum and step dad saw me do it at theirs for the first time week before last and yesterday got an excited phone call to tell me they had just done it and bee had revived and gone on its way. Sometimes it's the simple actions of intervention that can bring the biggest pleasure :)
 

Beaky

Regular Member
My goodness @DizzyBlue you really do love your bees.
Following some heated discussions during a zoom meeting between David Attenborough and DEFRA and myself, they have agreed that your advice is correct although I will need planning permission because it extends further than 3 inches from the shed frontage
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