Thanks to bee pollination, crop yields can be increased several times. It remains only to attract the bees to the field, and a special hotel will help to do this.
When we hear about bees, a hive, and a sting pop up as the first association. In fact, not all bees live in hives and most of them are not aggressive. You can often find the so-called lonely bees, which are also important pollinators of plants.
Single bees look for narrow tubular spaces, such as the hollow center of a reed or a crack in a stone wall, where they can safely lay their eggs. But finding a bee an ideal place for posterity is sometimes very difficult, so if you make a small and comfortable bee hotel, you can attract insects to the field. And to build it, you need only a little wood, screws and a drill.
Step One: Make a Frame
The outer walls of the hotel are best made from old boards. The thing is that fresh boards are treated with chemicals and they will repel bees.
The size of the hotel does not matter, and you can build it in any form. The most popular houses are similar to birdhouses. The only size requirement is the depth of the frame, it should be 15-20 cm. The frame can be attached to plywood, which plays the role of the back wall of the hotel, and the roof must be tilted and slightly go beyond the frame to make a small canopy – this will allow the bees to safely hide from the rain.
The wooden frame can be covered with an external sealant or paint, but you need to remember that the smell of chemicals scares away the bees and you need to wait a few weeks until it disappears.
Step Two: Make Rooms
The rooms are openings in wooden blocks, you can also fill the frame with pieces of bamboo, hollow cane or plastic tubes. No matter what materials you use, they should all be cut to the same length as the frame depth (minimum 15 cm).
Each bee has a different size, so the diameter of the holes should also be different. Try to drill rooms from 0.3 to 1.3 cm, while the larger the diameter, the deeper the hole should be. Try to “build” each room 1-2 cm apart.
Once you have built a house for the bees, place it in the frame, and then smooth the holes with sandpaper to remove the sharp fragments left by the drill.
Step Three: Hotel Installation
You can attach the hotel to a fence or a tree, and if possible make the bee house on the south side. Due to this, it will heat up earlier in the spring and keep warm longer in the fall – this will extend the egg-laying season.
Female bees will build separate chambers in each room of the hotel using dirt, chewed plants or other materials depending on the species. One egg is laid in each chamber, and when the tube is filled, the bee closes the hole so that moisture, cold and predatory insects do not enter the room.
Thus, in the winter, newborn bees remain sealed in pipes, and with the advent of spring, they already become adults. After the room is opened by the bees and they are free, experts advise to remove the old “hotel rooms” and build new ones every year. This will prevent the transmission of diseases from one generation to another.