This bee hive is not designed for harvesting honey. This is just a home for bees. Not only the bucket is habitable, but the hollow pipe that supports it in the air can also be colonized.
In past years, bees have been getting scarcer around here. I have had two volunteer bee colonies establish themselves along my ridge this year -- in inconvenient locations. I hope they will find their way to this hive when the time comes for the volunteer hives to divide.
This is just an experiment. The hive was put up today near one of the volunteer hives, and has not yet been colonized.
Step 1: Background
Local friends said that just drilling a hole in a bucket and leaving it around would attract bees. In designing this hive, I wanted the entrance high enough off the ground that toads would not be able to leap up and gobble bees at the entrance.
I put the entrance hole in the pipe, a little below the bucket. That way, the bucket protects the entrance from rain.
Step 2: The PVC pipe center post
In the upper part of the pipe, I cut holes. One, which goes a little below the bucket is the bee entry hole. The larger holes are for bees to access the bucket area from the inside of the pipe.