What’s the secret to enjoying more blooms and greater harvests? Pollination! To increase the pollination of your garden plants, consider getting a backyard bee house for native solitary bees!
Bee houses are similar to bird houses, but instead of attracting birds, they attract native solitary bee species. Unlike honey bees, these solitary bees are extremely docile and up to three times more effective as pollinators. No, you won’t get any honey, but you will enjoy better flowers, thriving plants, and healthier vegetables in your garden!
Many of these native bees are already a part of the local ecosystem, but providing them with a perfect place to nest in your backyard can improve their lives and yours.
Bee houses consist of a wooden, birdhouse-like structure containing native bee nesting materials—typically hollow reeds or cardboard tubes. They are the perfect habitat for solitary, hole-nesting bees, who also happen to be some of the best pollinators around.
You can find these cute bee houses at your local garden shop or even find DIY instructions on social media to create your own!
Below are a few tips to help start you in the right direction after buying or making your little Bee House!
- Make sure to choose a bee house size that matches what the surrounding area can provide. For example, a stand of flowering trees and bushes can provide more pollen than a meadow of flowers can, meaning a larger house would be appropriate for the former.
- Protection, Hole-nesting bees need a place to live that’s dry and safe. The ideal bee house will have a solid outer structure that has a 2–3” overhang, which will protect nesting materials from bad weather. If birds are attacking the nesting holes, use a 1”-wide wire cloth and bubble it around the bee house. Do not install wire cloth flush against the nesting holes, as this will obstruct the bees from entering. Bees need some space for landing and taking off!
- Location, Orient the bee house to face the morning sun, as hole-nesting bees need the sun’s warmth to give them energy to fly. Placing two bee houses—each facing a slightly different direction—can produce even better results.Most native bees prefer some afternoon shade, but too much shade could attract hole-nesting wasps. Solitary wasps are generally considered beneficial predators in a garden, as they attack pests like caterpillars, grubs, and aphids. However, they may also prey on the bee pupae in your bee house.
- Planting flowers; make sure you have a variety selection of flowers and even garden veggies for the bees to enjoy close by to their house. Flymeawaycreations Etsy shop has several flowering seeds such as Wildflower, Sunflower, and Lavender seed packets for you to start your very own Bee Garden!
You can follow the link to find instructions on how to create your own Bee house!