Tag Archives: native bees

Ramshackle insect shack hacks

I’ve been keen to try building nest blocks for blue-banded bees, by packing a clay/sand mix into rectangular PVC pipe after hearing about this technique and seeing it online.I’ve looked at a few ideas for insect hotels and made a list of materials required.

However, perhaps because of my recent sessions at Onkaparinga’s Living Smart sustainable living course, or starting my PDC, I’ve now crossed off the “buy rectangular PVC pipe” from my shopping list.

It would cost around $20 from the local hardware store for the PVC pipe. Not much in the scheme of things, but bees have been finding accommodation for thousands of years before PVC pipe came along, so…

First, I’ll keep an eye out for some off-cuts and unwanted bits of PVC pipe found in serendiptious moments out and about so that I can give these wonderful nests blocks from the Australian Native Bee Research Centre a go at minimum investment. They really know what works for attracting native bees, so that’s my ideal to work towards.

In the meantime, it’s Spring and bees need shelter. I used what I had in the spirit of experimenting with some ramshackle nests that I could probably call ‘ bee shacks’, and not quite bee hotels. For the less discerning bee, or indeed any insect interested in a small house footprint. Calling all bees and insects looking for a downshift!

The way I look at is, the wider bee community and insects in general make do with what nature provides, rarely to a formula or straight lines or perfect build.  So why not appeal to those opportunistic and adapatable personalities of nature , with my very own flavour of hacky haphazardness?

So here is a combination of weathered bamboo garden stakes I already had, hessian, twine and some mesh that was a plant protector, packed with a clay and sand mix (clay soils from our front garden), that I then accidentally dropped from a height- removing most of the clay/soil.

bee-house-2

Lashed by twine onto a dodgy trellis – it will move slightly in the wind:

location

And also, an old pot packed with clay and sand, a few hints at what wandering insects might want to do to make a crash pad, and undaintily shoved on the soil underneath the borage.

imperfect

Now to see, who, if anyone, shelters in these tiny share shacks!

 

Happenings

It’s not that there isn’t a lot happening around here, I just don’t stop to write about it much these days.

It’s a time of ripening plums.
plums

New bee accommodations:

m_bee hotel

Visits for the first time from blue-banded bees:
blue banded bee

Harvesting summer:
m_veg

Welcome visitors:

monarch

Delighting at the first time growing and eating a green zebra tomato:
green zebra tomato