Eunice Soh: Hi, is it important where you put these bee hotels? Like in places of high
Mirosław Mroczkowski: wwwpierwszekroki
solitarybee: No. What's important is that we get is amazing levels of pollination. They
are not difficult bees to keep and are not aggressive. The nesting female
bees work for themselves and gathering pollen and nectar to create distinct
pollen and nectar loaves for individual future bees.
Karlito Serrano: Nicely done mate! I made some trays on my own which I can remove one by one
and scrape all the cocoons easily off
popitinpete: Inspiring video (and the "how to make" video). I presume they leave your
house bricks alone with all that accommodation? I will make a simple block
but it appears you have lined yours. Is it just paper?
solitarybee: Thank you Viktor for the encouraging words. I adore these bees and the
incredible amount of fruit I get most years (this year frost did for most
of the cherries and apples). Time committment is much less than honey
beekeeping (and less costly) after putting out a test block in the first
year, it is mainly providing 2/3 x more clean accessible tunnels the
following spring & removing parasited chambers in September/October. The
bees aren't aggressive and so neighbours enjoy better pollination.
solitarybee: If you take a look at my video channel, you'll see one on how to make a
'mason bee observation box'. It's great for learning about them and seeing
into their world. If you want to raise these bees in large numbers however
(I now have around 3000 of them after 7 years) it's nest to use accessible
tunnels, like routed trays ('Bee Beds'), lined drill blocks, thick
cardboard tubes or plant reeds such as trimmed Japanese Knotweed. Hope you
take this forward. :)
solitarybee: Very sorry for my late reply Popitinpete. Yes generally they prefer the
tunnels I provide now, but I do occasionally have a handful of bees that go
in between the bricks. I suppose I could repoint the brick mortar, but as
they don't excavate more than old cocoon debris, there's zero risk to the
building. The only minor inconvenience, as I am raising a large population,
is that parasitic flies will still breed on the brick bee nests so they do
occasionally parasite my controlled population.
eccentricoldcow: How did you manage to take this video Paul, as it's so high up? I can't see
how you did it from the window as you're facing them, and can't see a
ladder. A brilliant view of the homes and I shall keep this for future
reference. Thanks for the link on how to make it.
solitarybee: @eccentricoldcow Hi Annette, you start to see the grey edge of the ladder
at 14 seconds. Yes, I hope the links on the video give a better idea of how
the different tunnel habitats are made. I have had some great results this
year - 350 tunnels sealed by the bees, and nearly at 200 members on the
'Campaign for solitary bees' page on Facebook. Not bad eh?!
solitarybee: Sounds great. Would love to see a picture of what your design was - either
via the Campaigh for Solitary Bees FB page or via the solitarybee blog.
Have you been raising them for a while?
Christy Hill: do they make honey?
solitarybee: The plastic tubes are a useful educational tool for the youngster. However
if you want to raise a large population of bees, I would counsel you to
only put in place tunnels that you can access in the Autumn. Bamboo is hard
to split, paper straws lining drill blocks are good however do look out for
natural closed reeds of at least 5 inches (12cm) in length. They are the
best (aside from closed tray systems which cost but are low maintenance for
solitarybee: The key thing we get is amazing levels of pollination - no honey though,
but no difficult bees (they are not aggressive nor sting) nor high
maintenance hives either. Because all the female nesting bees are working
for themselves and gathering their own pollen and nectar, they pollinate
fruit trees as well as if not better than honey bees.
BarrelOfBees: Very nice. It's good to see they don't mind the vinyl tubes as I'll be
getting some mason bees soon, mostly for my kids education so it would be
nice to see inside. I thought I'd have to put them in wood blocks or bamboo.