Thursday, April 24, 2008

Invite the bees

Humming Praises for the Wild Bee

Great article about wild bees and encouraging them to take up residence in your garden:

...There are a few basic tenets for the bee gardener to keep in mind: First, limit the use of pesticides, or stop using them altogether. That includes spraying the lawn with herbicides.
Provide a source of water and clay because mason bees build their nests with mud...Some native bees seek out patches of bare ground, especially sandy banks that face south or east, where they can get sun. Others will nest in standing snags or dead trees, if the bark is removed...

In the article there's a good link to the Xerces society, which has a good 'how to' PDF for building simple homes for native solitary bees:

...To make houses for mason bees, drill holes of different sizes in a block of wood...Bumblebee boxes are a bit more complicated: they resemble bird houses, but with a smaller hole, and are filled with some kind of nesting material, like cotton batting...

All making a nest requires for some of these bees is a block of wood and a drill. The direct link to the publication is Nests for Native Bees.

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