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Empty bee hive - suitable for bees of any kind?

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Joined 2014-03-16

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I am considering making a traditional white beehive as an ornament for my front lawn.  I intend to put a hole(s) and flight board on it and leave it empty. 

I am not interested in collecting honey but just wondered is it likely that wild bees (or other insects) would be able to make use of it for shelter?  Without making it complicated to build is there anything that I could simply add inside to encourage them to nest?

Thanks
Dave

     
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Joined 2012-05-24

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Hi David,

Sorry for the slow response, but I’ve only just spotted your Post !

There has been much research to find out what honey bees like in their choice of a nesting cavity.
(Try reading about this in Tom Seeley’s book “Honeybee Democracy.)

In round figures they prefer about 40 litres volume with a smallish entrance (5 - 10 sq cm) at the bottom and ideally located about 4 - 5 metres above ground.
Plywood is ideal.  You probably need to shade it from sun on the hottest days,  Although painting it white may help.
If you can persuade a beekeeper to let you have an old brood comb to put in it, that would help.
But do you really want the responsibility of becoming a bee-owner without any training ?
So, consider doing a Beekeeping for Beginners Course first !

Bumblebees would not want such a home.  They need a much smaller void and it has to be supplied with nesting material (preferably an old mouse nest).  Look elsewhere in the BBCT website for ideas here.

Good luck !

Clive

     
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Thank you for your reply Clive.
Dave