Saturday, May 28, 2016

Building a Simple Mason Bee Hotel

Full house in Hotel #1
It's been so exciting to watch our Orchard Mason Bees using their nesting blocks, we decided to make them a second hotel.

Nesting runs from mid-March through late Spring, so we had enough time for a few more bees to use the facilities.

Step 1: Start with an old birdhouse.

I started with an old birdhouse and went from there.

Step 2: Remove the front wall and clean the inside thoroughly.

Don't you love to save something and then find a new use for it?

Step 3: Give the old birdhouse a facelift with new paint.

A container for the drilled nesting blocks protects them from rain.

Step 4: Preserve the new paint and exposed surfaces with Acrylic spray.

Click here to see how we drilled nesting blocks to put inside.

Step 5: Mount the Bee Hotel on a south facing surface.

Two matching birdhouses look nice together on our porch pillar.

An Orchard Mason Bee heading into one of the holes at full speed.

The bees move so fast it's hard to get closeup photographs.

Another Orchard Mason Bee heading in from the lower left.
Orchard Mason Bees lay eggs packed within pollen plugs that are sealed in a series in each hole. The eggs turn into larvae that live off the stored pollen and emerge eleven months later to start the cycle all over again.
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Give it a try. You can do it for free with recycled and repurposed materials, and the result is fun and good for the environment as well. -- Margy

22 comments:

  1. I love your bee hotels. We have a ton of bees in the back yard as have lots of flowers. I saw pre-made bee hotels at one of the expensive garden centres in town and they wanted stupid money for them.

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    1. I think being "trendy" bumps the price a lot higher for things. - Margy

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  2. These are great Margy, I've just cut some logs and will be drilling them soon.

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    1. Ours have slowed down so I won't need a third. - Margy

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  3. We have expanded to three bee hotels. It becomes a little bit addictive.

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    1. I know what you mean. I still see bees once in a while, but not as much as before. - Margy

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  4. Replies
    1. Wait until you see my next painted rock. It's so heavy I could hardly carry it. Good thing it isn't going on the cabin deck. - Margy

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  5. You have done something very interesting.
    Much more interesting than what I am doing.

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    1. Everyone does the things they like. I'm sure yours are interesting as well. - Margy

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  6. Hello!:) Bee hotels:)) are new to me, but it's a good thing there are people like you who think to make homes for them. It looks fairly easy and I'm sure my hubby, who is quite handy, could make something similar.:)

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    1. Starting with an old birdhouse made it much easier. You don't have to use anything special, just drill some blocks and put them where rain can't get inside. - Margy

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  7. Hello, the bee hotels are awesome. A neat craft project. It is great you are able to help the bees. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post! Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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    1. Good thing I had Wayne to help with the drilling. - Margy

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  8. They are great hotels for the bees. You made it look so easy to build the hotels.

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    1. The second one was easier because the birdhouse was in better condition. All I had to do was pull off the front and spruce it up a bit. - Margy

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  9. We have been doing a similar hotel for many years. I like how yours looks.

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  10. What a great idea. Now that our grandsons are older this would be fun to do with them.

    Here comes sunshine - almost two weeks of it - I'm soooo happy. Enjoy!!!

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    1. We got a good rain, over an inch, on Saturday. It was so needed. It even filled up my rain barrels a bit. I hate to think of having to haul water up those four flights of stairs to the potato patch. - Margy

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  11. That is just great Margy. We need more bees that's for sure!!

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    1. In winter it is s quiet. Now when you go outside you hear lots of buzzing. Unfortunately some of it is yellow jackets. Those I don't encourage to stay. - Margy

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