Entice native solitary bees into your yard with this bee-autiful nest.
Wondering why your fruit or vegie crops aren’t thriving? It could be due to lack of pollination – the job of bees. A great way to encourage these insects to work their magic in your garden is to build them the perfect place they can call home. This nest will appeal most to native solitary bees, which raise their young in tiny hollows – they don’t live in colonies or make honey like their relatives, the European honey bees and stingless native bees
Gather your supplies:
• 50 x 200mm x 1m hardwood sleeper
• 200mm x 10-20mm-dia dry branches with a pith centre, such as hydrangea, bamboo or tibouchina
• Piece of corrugated iron, for roof
• 200mm x 100-150mm-dia log
You'll also need:
Tinsnips; power drill; 6 x 160mm auger drill bit; 10 x 190mm auger drill bit; sandpaper; handsaw/power saw; tape measure; 75mm and 50mm screws
Drill randomly spaced 6mm and 10mm holes in ends of timber log.
Cut two 300 x 200mm lengths and two 100 x 200mm lengths of hardwood. Position pieces in butt-joint box shape. Drill a clearance hole into each corner of top and countersink, then drill corresponding pilot holes through sides. Drive in 75mm screws to secure top to sides. Flip assembly and repeat to secure bottom to sides.
Drill randomly spaced 10mm holes into 1 face of box. Sand area.
Cut corrugated iron to size, leaving overhang at sides to suit. Bend sheet in half widthways, reopen and position on top of box. Put log inside, then secure corrugated iron to sides of box with 50mm screws.
Put branches in hollows. Position nest in garden, elevated on existing tree stump or hardwood post. Ensure it’s close to fruiting plants or trees so it encourages bees to nest.