The girls were gifted The Bee Book at my baby shower, by family who run a small farm and cousins who are bee keepers. Little did we all know, the girls would come to love bees! So when I saw instructions for a bee hotel in the back of the book, I knew this would be the perfect craft for Earth Day.
I’ve seen some pretty elaborate, and gorgeous, bee hotels. The simplicity of the example in the book seemed like it would be best for out first attempt. Ours did become a little more embellished, once we completed our research, to best suit our insects.
For a few weeks, we did a lot of reading about bees, bee hotels, and bee conservation. We learned that bee hotels are not a one-for-all. Not all the beautiful hotels we’ve seen would be good for those in our area. Some materials we’ve seen used are not as enjoyed by the species in our area, as they are by others. So we researched what would be best for the bees near us and discovered that we had many of the materials on hand. There were other materials that we would have liked to have used, like pinecones for ladybugs, but we weren’t able to find any on our daily walks. So we’ll save those for another, fall season, hotel.
One of our goals, was to make our E & V Air Bee-N-Bee completely from recycled materials that were compostable. We had bamboo sticks that we had previously used as garden sticks, wood scraps from Hubby’s workshop, cardboard from online orders, and eggshells from breakfast. We learned what size holes would be the best for the wood and drilled accordingly (between 3/32″ and 3/8″ in diameter) and had a variety of other sized spaces, created by the cardboard. We placed eggshells to hold water (sugar water when recommended), with small twigs to prevent the bees from drowning (carefully using a straw to fill).
For protection against the elements, we made sure that only the front was open. In the future, we will try glass (to keep with our desire of compostability/recyclability) as a backing so that we may view what goes on, without disturbing our tenants.
The E & V Air Bee-N-Bee is currently located in the front yard, where we’ve seen a few bees lately. The plan originally was to put it in the back yard, where we could view sit regularly, but there is a robin nest and a woodpecker. So the front yard was deemed best. There are two hooks, so that it may be hung and easily removed for cleaning and storage.
Have you created a bee or insect hotel?
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