Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Making a Home for Our Pollinator Friends











There has been a little bee watching going on around here...we are kinda in love with them. They are busy, zooming here and there around the yard, from flower to flower, doing their thing. Honestly, I could sit and watch them all day long.

With the knowledge that many of our pollinators are in trouble we decided to do what we could to attract some to our yard. We do, of course, have many flowers planted in our garden for this exact reason, but we took it a step further yesterday, and with the help of Justin, built a pollinator home for the solitary bees, mainly the mason bee, and the leafcutter bee.

It was a fun project, Reece was excited to be able to use the power drill, although he needed a little extra muscle power from Justin, and when he was done he had a lovely little home for the bees.

While we wait for the bees to try out their new home, we have plans to make a few bee baths, making the garden as bee friendly as possible.

36 comments:

  1. What fun! That bee at the top definitely looks very happy (and fluffy! ) I should think that any bees that move in to Reece's houses should count themselves very lucky! Seeing him with the power tools reminds me of when my boys were younger...Sam actually had his own drill as a gift when he was about 4 so he could follow Daddy around and help...it was almost as big as he was then! :)

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    1. It was fun Em! Isn't that bee just awesome. I watched her for quite some time. I sure hope they move in, it will be super exciting for all of us to watch.

      That is so cute, I can just picture him wandering around with his power drill :)

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  2. What a lovely project! You make me think that issa could help me building the bench I try to make these days!

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    1. Thanks Sandra, we had so much fun with it. Totally he could help you. Reece, and his little friend definitely needed some muscle power from Justin to push the drill into the wood, but the sanding and finishing up was all them. This wood was also very hard maple, if you are using a softer wood Issa might just be okay to do a little drilling on his own :) Have fun!

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  3. What a GREAT project. And great shots of the bees too!

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  4. That's such a great idea. I really love these kinds of projects where the kids can really see the usefulness of the thing they've made. I love your bee photos.

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  5. I have not made these...but they are just perfect for any garden :0) mari

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    1. They certainly are Mari, and help to ensure our bees are here to pollinate our food :)

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  6. This is really a nice project! We always have bees when our lemon tree is out in blossom, but I don't know how the bees fare during the extreme heat of the summer. It is so great that you are teaching your son to love and help nature!

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    1. Thanks Deb! A lemon tree, goodness how wonderful is that. And thank you for those very kind words, a deep connection to nature is something that is very important to our family.

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  7. I do love attracting bees and butterflies into our garden and need to start adding more flowers to it. When we bought our house, there was absolutely nothing in the backyard, not even a fence. We have added flower beds, vegetable beds, blueberry bushes, blackberry bushes and more. This year I'd like to redo some of the flower beds and add more flowers to it. Sadly we have a lot of carpenter bees here and they wreak havoc on everything wooden. In some areas our fence posts look like Swiss cheese. :-(

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    1. It is wonderful to attract them, and see them flying around. We have quite a few flower gardens, and always lots of bees and butterflies. It sounds like you have done a lot of work in your gardens. Have fun adding more flowers.

      Carpenter bees...not fun :(

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  8. What a great idea, the power drill looks too fun. We've had two years of the bees making holes in our deck and then our house - our yard is a bee magnet. I like the idea of them having their own home. :) What a cute little mother-in-law, is that a play space for Reece?

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    1. The whole thing was fun Carlin. He is asking to make another one, and we just might do that soon :) Get those girls of yours a power drill and make a few, your bees will love them!

      No, not a play space for Reece. We call it our cottage in the backyard. It has a wood stove, and a futon. We created it as a little guest house, as there is very little room for us and guests in our one room schoolhouse :) It serves its purpose well, and it is nice for guests to have their own space while they are here. If your girls do pack their bags for a visit in the future, that is where they will sleep :)

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  9. I have one too! It's on my garden wall. So far no one has taken up residents. But the mason bees love the rocks the line my garden beds, so there are a dozen or so mason bees in my garden. I think that;s why there are soooo many tomatoes this year!

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    1. That is awesome KC! I think every garden needs at least one. We look forward to seeing if any bees use it.

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  10. That is so much fun. We had plans for building a much nicer "insect hotel" this year, but I think we've taken on a bit too many projects. So for now, we are sticking with flowers, flowers and more flowers... oh! And a big pile of logs and branches in our back woods they can crawl into. The bee home looms great!

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    1. It was fun, and we are excited to see if any bees take up residence. Yes, we have been looking at the insect hotels, they look like so much fun. We thought we would start small, and then maybe build on it each year.

      Thanks!

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  11. Such a wonderful idea !!! Can't wait to see the baths...

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    1. Thanks Erica. Bee baths going in tomorrow, when are the little who homeschools with us is here :)

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  12. Super cool! Love it! And what a great project for your boy to create! XO

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    1. Thanks Cory. He had so much fun. xo

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  13. I did not know you could build a bee shelter! The things I learn while visiting you :) Looks like a fun project and I know you will have many many visitors.

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    1. You can Karen! I hope we get a few, that would be so awesome!

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  14. Great idea. Thanks for helping out our little buzzy friends.

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    1. Thanks, and no problem, we need these little guys more than we know.

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  15. I could sit and watch bees all day too. I love your shot with the one all covered in pollen.

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    1. And I would love to sit and watch bees with you :)

      Thanks!

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  16. What a great project, love that last picture.
    Haven't planted my bee mat yet - must get to it! Now what on earth is a bee bath?

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    1. Thanks Emma! Bee bath, basically a shallow dish lined with some rocks and then filled with water. Bees need a spot to land in order to grab a drink, so they don't drown :)

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  17. Oh how wonderful! We grow bee and butterfly friendly flowers because we love seeing them but we don't have a bee house - yet!!

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    1. Thanks Carie, it was a ton of fun to make, and now we wait to see if they take up residence :) Yes, lots of bee and butterfly friendly flowers here too, so awesome to see the bees and butterflies buzzing and fluttering about.

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  18. Great idea, I think I may have to set Theo on to this, we've been missing our bees since the hive left, but we do still have lots of the more solitary type here too. Is the box just hollow inside?

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    1. Thanks Sally. I bet he would have fun with it, so many ideas for making them. Have him search bee homes, there are some pretty cool ones.

      No, not hollow, it is a solid piece of wood, the the holes provide the space for the bees to nest.

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