Friday, March 15, 2013

Bee box experiment

 I've read about and seen nest boxes for solitary bees on the Internet made from bamboo tubes. Since we have an ample supply of the invasive species in town, I decided to try making a couple. First, I stopped by the convenience store where they grow and asked permission to cut some. Go ahead, the guy said. Then I broke off an armful of dead bamboo and loaded the stuff into my car's trunk.

 At home, I cut the shoots below the node as directed.

That way, you make a tube with one close end...

...and the other open so the bees can nest inside. I wasn't very careful about choosing the sizes of tube opening. After all, this is an experiment. If I see that the bees like my two boxes, then I'll make more.
Now bundling the tubes together was a challenge. I wasn't finicky about the lengths either (some were much shorter than others). I finally decided to use rubber bands initially, then I secured them with string.
Since this is just an experiment, I decided to tie the two bundles to the cedar fence in the Meadow. Bee nest boxes should always face south or southeast to get the morning light. At least, that's what I read. So we'll see what happens next! 


Liz said...

They'll nest. I'm in San Antonio and put out a couple of 2X4s with 7/8" holes drilled in it a couple of summers ago. It took a while for them to use, but it's full now. I need to build another one, or six. I did it to discourage the bees from drilling nest holes in the flower spikes of the red yuccas. Btw, great blog. I've been reading it for years.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Gee, Liz, thank you. Sometimes I wonder .... OK, very recently I've wondered...if anyone does read what I post. Then someone like you leaves me an encouraging post! And that's cool about your bee boxes. They're fun!

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