by Christine Hanrahan
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and, bearing that in mind, I am posting some photos of a couple of bee nesting structures.
The large nest box made by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists has holes of varying sizes and contains rolled up tubes of paper that can be removed. At the end of summer, these paper tubes would be placed in a container in a refrigerator or unheated building for the winter and brought out in spring in a place where the bees can emerge safely. The nest box itself would be disinfected before being re-used.
The old bee box from 2009 was made for us by Bruce Burns and used as part of a display on pollinators. Later, in mid-summer, we placed it in a south-facing site, protected from intrusion and, within days, leafcutter bees (Megachile) were using it.
Bee bundles are another method of providing homes for tunnel-nesting bees and, in this photo, you can see how the bamboo bundles were placed inside a plastic plant pot for protection from the elements.
The next two photos are of two different bees using the bee boxes. The Megachile is checking out the old box in 2009, while the mason bee is investigating the newer box in 2012.
There is a close up of the rolled paper tubes in this next photo.
The last photo shows a tree swallow nest at the FWG, removed when the box was cleaned in early November. Inside were many dead bumble bees and, beneath the straw of the swallow nest, were many “honey pots” made by the bees.