Did you know that not all bees nest in hives? Some bees use other places to lay their eggs, like in pieces of wood or in the ground. Unfortunately, as their habitat disappears, it can be hard for bees to find safe places to nest.
You can help these little superheroes by building a bee condo near your pollinator garden! Follow these instructions and take the Pollinator Power Mission to the next level.
NOTE: The bee condo will bring more bees to your garden. While bees generally aren’t aggressive, it is strongly recommended that once the bee condo is in place, it is left alone.
Here’s What You’ll Need
What to do…
Take your thicker piece of untreated wood and on one side mark where you want to drill your holes. Make sure each hole is about 1 or 2 cm apart.
Drill the holes, making them about 12 cm deep. Make sure you don’t go all the way through the wood.
Tip: Using different sized drill bits (between 6 mm and 9 mm) means your bee condo can be used by different types of cavity-nesting bees!
Grab your sandpaper and use it to smooth the edges around each of the holes.
Build a roof for your condo using the thinner wood and attach it to the top of the piece wood. This will give some shade over the entrances of the holes.
Roll up some paper into the shape of a straw and put it in each hole, making sure it’s a snug fit. Each roll must be several layers thick. Trim off any extra paper sticking out of the holes.
Tip: Colour the edge of the paper with your black marker. This will help attract more bees to your condo.
Place your bee condo in a bright, sunny spot close by your pollinator garden, making sure the side with the holes is not covered and the bee condo is hanging straight.
Tip: Once your bee condo is in a secure place, let the bees make it into a nesting place. It is recommended that once the bee condo is in place, it is left alone.
During the winter, protect your bee condos by putting them in a cool place (4ºc to 6ºc) like an unheated shed, basement or garage. When spring arrives, set up your condo back in the same place as before.
Once the young bees have emerged from your bee condo, have a parent help you remove and throw away the old paper inserts.
Add new paper inserts (mentioned in Step 4), then place your bee condo in the same spot as before. Remember, once your bee condo is up and secure, you’ll need to let the bees make it into their own nesting place. It is recommended that once the bee condo is in place, it is left alone.