You can help native bees by providing them a secure place to nest. What many call bee hotels or bee homes range from simple to deluxe designs.
One way is to drill various-sized holes into a wooden block or tree cookie and hang it in a sheltered area.
Another simple solution is to cut down PVC or plastic pipes and fill them with paper straws and hang it or tie it to a tree or fence post.
One of the easiest ways to create a bee home is with bamboo. You can find bamboo pretty cheap at local garden centers or even Wal-Mart. Buy a bundle with pieces of bamboo of different sizes and use a saw to cut the bamboo to approximately 4-inch lengths.
Take a foot-long zip tie and start the zipping so it is a circle. Hold the circle vertically, pressing down so that bottom is flat. Layer pieces of bamboo, of all different widths, into the circle. When you’re done, tighten the zip tie so the bamboo pieces stay in a bundle.
Hang your bee hotel when it is starting to warm up outside in a place where it will receive morning sun, facing the east. The hotel needs to be fastened to something so that it does not rotate or move. The native bees that this hotel will draw in are sensitive to nest orientation once they start using it.
Mount the hotel so that the bamboo lies horizontally, not at an angle, with the flight path into the bamboo unobstructed.
This hotel will aid the next generation of beneficial bees.
We’re bzzzzy bees at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and we’re continuously celebrating bees, butterflies, bats, hummingbirds and all of our pollinators at Pollinator Paradise. Once you see the live bees in the indoor beehive, crawl through the human-sized honeycomb, pollinate life-size apple trees and see all the delicious foods that pollinators help us with…Read More
All kids use pencils at school, but many times those pencils are plain yellow and don’t allow for much inspiration. We took pencils to the next level with our bee pencil toppers at the 2019 Bee & Butterfly Festival, and now you can make your own. Simply click here to download a free PDF template…Read More
One of our volunteers made coffee filter butterflies with her granddaughter, and in exchange, her granddaughter showed her how to make thumbprint bees. We thought they were so cute, we would try them ourselves. And just to make it more exciting, we did a variety of thumbprint invertebrates! All you’ll need is: White paper Washable…Read More
The mining bees in the Andrenidae family are incredibly gentle bees. According to “Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide” by Heather Holm, a park in Minneapolis is the home to thousands of Andrena nests each year, but most people have no idea that they are walking right over them. These bees are solitary…Read More
Do you love blueberries? Then you should love the genus Colletes of native bees! These are one of several types of native bees that collect pollen from both highbush and lowbush blueberry flowers. Colletes validus has an elongated, narrow head that helps it fit into the tight flower opening where it eats nectar and collects pollen that will be transferred…Read More
Mason bees might be the best pollinators of all bees. Instead of wetting pollen and putting it in pollen sacs like honeybees, mason bees are covered in hair that collects pollen as they move around, searching for nectar. They can certainly carry a lot of pollen and significant pollinators for apple, cherry and plum trees. (Try…Read More
We’ve all been outside drinking a pop at a picnic, when these little black-and-yellow creatures start flitting around and trying to get into the drink. “Sweat bees,” someone will say, shaking his or her head. “They’re so annoying.” Learning about bees as we put together the bee identification spinner for the new Pollinator Paradise addition,…Read More
People often use the term bee when talking about any kind of buzzing creature outside — it could be a honeybee, a bumble bee, a mason bee, a sweat bee or even a wasp or yellowjacket. However, it’s important to differentiate between the different kinds of bees. That may be difficult since the U.S. has…Read More