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Encouraging Bees

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Total Posts: 1

Joined 2013-10-30

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Hi I’ve just become interested in bees, as my wife and I have found a hive of activity at the bottom of our garden. Unfortunately we had to move the hive due to construction and now we miss them.  Im looking to encourage them back, Ive found these

http://cc-gardendesign.co.uk/Bee-Houses/

They look great, are they too expensive?

     
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Total Posts: 64

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi tmilly4050,
Welcome to the forum.  It is great that you are taking an interest in your local bees, the more the merrier!  When you talk about"move the hive” - are you meaning honeybees in a hive or the other solitaries and bumbles?  The pics of the bee-houses are scenic but pretty expensive and I would only cater for solitary bees -  mason bees or leaf cutters.  If you want a designer set-up, then by all means spend money to buy something as shown in the pics.  However, it is great fun to construct your own from bamboo canes, hollow stems or drilled wood.  The crucial thing is the diameter of the holes - too small and they can’t get in; too big and they won’t use them.  For many years, my red mason bees [Osmia]  and leaf cutter bees [Megachile] regularly used sections of bamboo canes, tied in bumbles and jammed behind the downpipe near the back door - facing south and under the guttering and slightly sloping to keep out the rain.  The internal diameter of the canes were ca 7mm or 8mm.  If you want to cater for your bumbles, then for me, bumble nest boxes have always been an expensive waste of time and I get more bumble colonies [Bombus lapidarius; B. terrestris; B. pratorum; and B. hypnorum]  using north-facing bluetit boxes with old nesting material left in place.  The very best thing to do to help your bumbles, is to plant up your garden with masses of bee-friendly flowers [NOW], providing a continuous supply of nectar and pollen for them from February through to late Autumn.  Don’t forget winter-flowering shrubs such as Lonicera purpusei and Mahonia, to provide nectar & pollen for early-riser bumble queens that are roused from hibernation on warm spring days.  Check out all the info on this web site.  Have fun - enjoy your bumbles.
urbanbumble