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Bumble bee nesting box

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Project by stanley_clifton posted 02-15-2010 12:47 AM 3662 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bumble bee nesting box
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Made from rough pine with some scrap oak for the lid sides and runners, this box is intended to help out our natural pollinators come the spring.

Here in England some of our native bumble bees have gone extinct and others are threatened. There’s been a scare about honey bees and colony collapse disorder, but bumbles are actually better pollinators.

Following dimensioning with band saw and shooting board, the box is banged together with the brad nailer. The lid just drops over with the side slats holding that bit of roofing felt down. The 20mm entry hole is reinforced with another piece of scrap oak.

Any woodworker can make one of these in a couple of hours. They are unobtrusive in any garden or yard and can make a real difference to our hard-pressed natural pollinators. Why not knock a couple up from rough stock or scrap? If you have no garden, give a box as a gift to someone who does.

PS. One has to poke a bumble bee in the eye before it will sting.

-- Stanley generally struggling





8 comments so far

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2972 posts in 2257 days


#1 posted 02-15-2010 03:50 AM

What a Great Idea! Thanks, Stanley!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View RickB's profile

RickB

48 posts in 1895 days


#2 posted 02-15-2010 05:31 PM

Very nice. Alas, my city’s regulations state that I cannot keep an apiary within 300 yards of an occupied building. So, no dice for me!

View stanley_clifton's profile

stanley_clifton

187 posts in 2458 days


#3 posted 02-16-2010 12:27 AM

Does a box for wild bees qualify as an apiary? People keep bees in their back gardens here, just not enough.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1497 posts in 2516 days


#4 posted 02-16-2010 12:37 AM

Stanley:

U.P. north we have a small wildflower meadow, and we like our bumblebees. Please show us some more views and building tips. I would like to build a box like this.

P.S. Did you know that from an aerodynamic engineering standpoint the bumblebee is not supposed to be able to fly. Hush…...don’t let the bumblebee hear this – he does it anyway.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View reible's profile

reible

34 posts in 2516 days


#5 posted 02-16-2010 08:57 AM

Hi,

I like it!!!!

I’d like some more information too. We have had bumble bees find nesting places in our long term compost bin and holes left by chipmunks but this sound like a nicer place to have them stay.

Things like where do you put them, on the ground, in a tree, fence post? What size of hole do they need/like? How do you keep other things out of them (as an example,last year some yellow jackets took over our bat box)?

Anything else would be great too.

Thanks for sharing this, I think it is and will be a great project for a number of us.

-- Knight of the Shopsmith

View stanley_clifton's profile

stanley_clifton

187 posts in 2458 days


#6 posted 02-16-2010 09:50 PM

Thanks for the interest. Here’s a link to a useful site with lots of info:

http://www.bumblebee.org/nestboxes.htm

I will take some more photos and scan in a dimensioned plan of my box on the weekend. This will have to wait as I have to do a job application form tonight.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View stanley_clifton's profile

stanley_clifton

187 posts in 2458 days


#7 posted 02-25-2010 12:03 AM

As promised, I have now posted some more views and dimensions.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View reible's profile

reible

34 posts in 2516 days


#8 posted 02-25-2010 01:50 AM

Thanks for the update!

Looks like a fun little project I can do using up some scrap wood and it would be fun for the grandchildren to watch the bumblebees when they visit.

I also enjoyed the bumblebee site you posted.

-- Knight of the Shopsmith

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