Introduction: Bee Hostel
if you're paying attention, the bee population is in serious decline. I keep seeing bees floundering on the ground and probably on their last leg. I feel terrible for them and want to make a difference. they need us as much as we need them. so I started this small project to help out.
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Step 1: Grab a Stick
I keep collecting bits of the forest floor on my hikes to build natural bee hotels, smuggle them out, and then replant them in the forest when they're transformed. anything is up for grabs. I like the knot on this stick, so it came home with me.
Step 2: Drill Away
I'm using a 5/16" bit and a 1/4" bit. if you hold your bit up to the wood, you can eyeball how deep to go. don't go all the way through. hold that place on your drillbit. wrap masking tape around it where your finger is. that will keep you from sinking through the wood. as long as you're cautious of what you're doing.
Step 3: Front Porch
I also chose this stick for how many twigs had been snapped to nubs. I figure these will be good landings for the bees. I drilled several holes above each of these break-offs. everyone needs a stoop.
Step 4: Clean It Up
or don't clean it up. I left sawdust in the holes as much as possible so it has the impression of being abandoned. it also gives the bees more to work with in building their tiny nests.
Step 5: Wire Bail
since this one will be hanging outside my door, I looped a length of wire beneath the topmost catches and around the circumference, making a sturdy loop at the top. nothing fancy, it just gives the home a secure hanger.
Step 6: Decor
dress it up and welcome your guests! I stashed tea leaves in some of the holes, herbs and fragrant things to attract the bees, pine needles, sunflower seeds, yarn fibers, and "building materials," and then drilled in a red wooden bead just for the fun of it. it's like seeing that one thing on your porch that means you're home.
Step 7: Let It Bee
I put some flowers in the wire to attract visitors, and wildflower seeds on the top, where the wood divots slightly. the seeds will soon be on the ground if they don't sprout up there. which is another thing I wanted to mention. as these hostels are re-forested, I take wildflower seeds with me to throw nearby that could use pollinating. I have to take the Johnny Appleseed approach so they'll want to live in the vicinity. the idea is to keep these far enough off the trail so the bees won't be disturbed. this particular hostel is too noticeably unnatural, so I'm testing it out at home where I can watch its progress and improve designs. best of luck with yours!