Bee tower hamlets
In February I built these bee towers in my Garden. I have been surprised how quickly they have been used by bees and wasps.
By May bees are resident or
present Osmia rufa, Osmia leania, Hylaeus hyalinatus and Megachile sp.
By June further bees Anthrophora furcata and Anthidium manicatum are
investigating holes but not shure they are going to be residents
5 Wasp species are either
resident or have been prospecting Ancistrocerus
sp. (prob oviventris). prob Trypoxylon attenuatum
(Slender Wood Borer Wasp) prob
Ectemnius continuus (a digger wasp) Chrysis ignita (a
cuckoo wasp) Trychrisis
cyanea (Ruby tailed wasp) and Sapgya
Sapgya quinquepunctata I think is the only sighting in Cornwall since the 1970's, which illustrates how usefull such a intervention can be.
I have had tube based designs of bee houses on a shed for a number of years, but these are more diffficult to sit next to and observe. Another advantage of the bee tower block design is that the roof seems a really great place to land on to warm up and then either hunt or forage. The thermal heat sink aspect of the breeze blocks makes them also really attractive.
How to make them.
Get a few half or complete breeze
blocks. NOT the heavy concrete things but the lighter insulation ones
may be called thermalite. Stack them so they wont fall down. Drill into
the southern faces with a range of drill bits 3mm -10mm.
Breeze blocks are porous so you need to keep bees dry. So put an overhanging slate with a heavier stone on top.
The bee flats
For info on meadows and wildlife gardening
see bee lawns
Philips bee house
John fosters double bee flats note ridge tile