Saturday, March 5, 2016

A NEW BEEHOUSE

Following on the success of my last bee house and seeing how brutal our Texas weather can be with outdoor structures I decided it was time for an upgrade. A friend of mine has a bamboo forest in her back garden and last year her son cut much of it down. I was more than happy to take it.


Maybe it is good to cut bamboo when it is green rather than waiting for it to dry out. I tried one piece with the hack saw and decided I would wait. A year later it was ready to be cut and this time I was bringing in the big guns having found cutting with the hack saw was no easier.


Even this saw had trouble, although I decided maybe a smaller toothed saw blade would have worked better. I had quite a bit of sanding to do where the saw didn't make a clean cut. It still took a lot less time than hand cutting. Thanks David.
Here's the box I was planning to use. Another garage sale find. I thought maybe it had been someone's craft project because the wood had been poorly put together, until I saw the Made in China sticker on the bottom. Plus the ivy painting on the side was not my style. A spray can of paint was needed.


With a new paint job and the requisite number of pieces of bamboo cut to size it was time to assemble. It's amazing how easily the pieces fir together and all that is needed in the end are some filler pieces to make sure there is a tight fit.


For variety I added pieces of bark in one section and pine cones and a small clay pot with grasses in another. In the top some broken pieces of clay pot. Plenty of nesting sites for ladybirds and green lacewings as well as solitary bees of all sizes.


Once I am sure that the bamboo is completely tight I will to hang on the wall in the potager. I'm sure the bees will be attracted to all the flowers that are, once again, growing in the pathways and be delighted with their new home.
If you would like to learn more about the bees who will nest in my house then a book that covers everything you need to know about gardening with bees is The Bee-Friendly Garden by Kate Frey and Gretchen Le Buhn.

10 comments:

  1. That looks really nice. I like the combination of materials. Hopefully the bees will like it too!

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    1. I decided it needed so many pieces it would take forever to cut them. This was the easy way out.

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  2. It looks great! I knew bamboo was tough but I didn't realize how tough until you described the difficulty sawing it into pieces.

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    1. I am happy I had a helper for this one.

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  3. I beg to differ slightly... What you've put together here is not a "bee house", it is more a four star Resort! The neutral color will bend in quite nicely with your other more naturally weathered wood accents. Leave it to you (and the ever helpful David) to not only provide for the pollinators but to do so in great style. Such handsome accommodations would be welcomed in even the most formal of garden settings. Well done!

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    1. I always smile when I read your comments because they are really lovely. Let's hope the bees appreciate their new apartment.

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  4. It's a thing of beauty! Bamboo is not easy to cut, but yes a finer-toothed blade would be better. I'm not sure how quickly it dulls the blades though, and that was a lot of cutting!

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    1. Sounds like you have some experience with it. I did cut the pieces for the original house with a hack saw but this one required so many I knew I needed help. At least I didn't have to do the original cutting down.

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  5. What a great result. Useful and so much more attractive than what you started with. But that is a lot of bamboo cutting!

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