After our epic building of Bee Bonanza at Yew View, I was keen to make one for my own patch! I already have a number of Bee Hotels and Bug Houses around my patch, but I wanted to create something in a frame, in a similar way to the ones we had built earlier in the week.
Setting up in my garage, I started by screwing four pieces of timber together to create a square. I then screwed a back piece on. All of these would be treated in boiled linseed oil to offer a little protection from the elements.
I had a range of materials to fill the square. These included two Morrisons £3 Bee Boxes (excellent value!!), some plastic pipes, some plant ‘Oasis’ (tried this last year and they used it!), some wood blocks, Hog weed stems (collected from the bridle path & hedgerow), logs and bamboo tubes. I sawed up the logs so they were the same length as the bamboo tubes and did the same with the Hogweed stems, wedging them into one of the plastic tubes. I sketched out roughly how I wanted it all to look and then started placing them into the frame. Drilling a pilot hole through the back plate, I screwed each into place…
Once everything was securely screwed into place, I started to fill the gaps with the bamboo. I placed a small amount of wood glue around the centre of each tube, to hold it in place…
I then drilled a range of different holes into the logs and wood blocks and pressed some different sized holes into the oasis foam. Different species of bees will use different sized holes so it is important to have lots!
It weighed a ton and my fence panel was not going to support it. Instead, I used a wooden box I had, upturned it and drilled it into the fence panel to hold it in place. I then placed the Bee Box Frame on top, securing it with a couple of angled brackets. I placed my other bee boxes (many with tubes full from last year’s bees) all around. I had two other bee boxes from CJWildlife that I had used on my stand at Birdfair, so they joined the arrangement!
This is a lovely, warm and sheltered wall that was well used last year, so I will have my fingers crossed for lots of residents over the coming months. I think it has created a very interesting and attractive feature in my patio area… I hope the bees think so too!