DYI: Quick and Easy Bee Habitats
Who doesn’t like bees? They make honey, which is sweet. The honey makes mead, which is sweeter. They also give us about a third of our crops through pollination, and almost all wild plants require them. And of course there are the species of bees that drill into our porches and houses, which can be very annoying, but being tree-hugging, nature-loving, hippy-type pagans, going around and batting them with tennis rackets really doesn’t help out the good karma.
So for the 99.9% of us who can’t set up our own honey bee hives or have problems with carpenter bees, you can help by making your own bee habitats. My daughter’s environmental club had a special bee day, which included the making of such habitats, so she and I decided to make a few.
All you need is a drill, split firewood, and paint. Find (buy or split your own) however many pieces of split firewood you want to turn in to the bee homes (by split, I mean cutting the wood into quarters or eights). Then use a 3/8 or ½ inch drill bit and drill into each piece about half of the way through the wood, with the holes ranging all across one surface side. These holes will allow bees of all sizes to get into the wood, and from there they will extend the holes and create their own maze.
From this point, you can stop and place the habitat wherever you’d like, but we wanted to paint them. Although bees don’t really care much about color, outside of avoiding predators (and even then, if it isn’t actively harassing the bees, you’re probably fine), we wanted them to look nice. So we used some paints and glitter to make them, as she said, “all prettied up.”
Bees are attracted to scents, and we have considered using perfume to attract them, but discovered the bees were doing a good job as it was after about a week. Feel free to try that out, though, and good luck with our buzzing friends!
© 2015 James Slaven