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Bee house

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Project by Francois Vigneron posted 02-21-2013 02:44 PM 1416 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I build a little house for wild bees. It’s a simple block of untreated pine with a bunch of holes drilled in it. The red roof might help them find the hotel.

You can find lots of info online about those amazing little friends. They are also called solitary bees, carpenter bees, mason bees,... ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megachilidae ). Don’t hesitate to build a bee house too ; it’s fun, only takes a few minutes and your wife & kids will love it.

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA





13 comments so far

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1158 posts in 1740 days


#1 posted 02-21-2013 02:48 PM

Never thought about one of these. The Carpenter bees make the own home in my deck framing. They do not seem to mind pressure treated wood.

-- Chris K

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

804 posts in 769 days


#2 posted 02-21-2013 02:59 PM

Although I don’t mind regular bees, I already have way too many carpenter bees trying to turn my car port into a home. Is there any way to encourage regular bees and discourage carpenter bees?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1836 posts in 1727 days


#3 posted 02-21-2013 03:08 PM

Nice looking house.

To tell the truth, we have bee hives for the beneficial bees and bee traps to kill the carpenter bees as all they do is a lot of damage. Any reason as to why you want to attract carpenter bees to your location?

Cheers!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4330 posts in 1707 days


#4 posted 02-21-2013 03:34 PM

Bonjour Francois,
Tes maisons sont tres sympa..
Les abeilles vont etre heureuses dans leurs HLM!
Bertrand

-- Bert

View exterminate's profile

exterminate

120 posts in 686 days


#5 posted 02-21-2013 03:49 PM

Nice bee house…but why…? I’ve had a hate and fear of bees for as long as I can remember. My body used to involuntarily freeze up whenever my brain thought one was around. Its gotten better since I’ve had children (trying not to instill a paranoid fear into them for no reason), but I still would not want to try and attract them, except to maybe trap and kill them. My father in laws cousin has a bee farm. He regularly collects the honey or moves the boxes without wearing any type of protection. He gets stung all the time and says, “Its just a part of life”. I can’t decide whether he is crazy, dumb, or just a badass!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View Timthemailman's profile

Timthemailman

301 posts in 1435 days


#6 posted 02-21-2013 05:00 PM

Nice Bee house, maybe when the Bees move in you could add a picture of the new tenants.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112106 posts in 2236 days


#7 posted 02-21-2013 05:02 PM

Good job and great idea.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 978 days


#8 posted 02-21-2013 05:09 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. A few answers.

Wild bees are much less efficient at making honey than regular bees. To survive, they have to visit more flowers. This makes them even more efficient at pollinating the garden than regular bees.

Carpenter bees are lazy ; if you have an untouched woodpile (especially a little stack of bamboo) or an old crumbling wall in a quiet zone… they might go there and not drill holes in your carport/deck. Jesse, try also coating your carport with a polyurethane varnish just prior to their nesting season. You could also get a regular beehive…

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View ldl's profile

ldl

1135 posts in 1024 days


#9 posted 02-21-2013 05:20 PM

This is the only type of bee house I make. It is a trap to kill them. They do tremendous damage specially in the south to any wooden structure.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/71917

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 978 days


#10 posted 02-21-2013 05:21 PM

@exterminate : I understand your fear of bees and it is common but… ignore the bee and so will she !

Regular bees will only attacked when their hive is in peril : a bear, a man harvesting honey without smoking them enough and (more commonly) a man wearing dark colored clothed (it makes him look like a bear) that stands near the hive… An individual bee will also attack if you do wild moves at it to “wave it off”. When the bee stings, she knows she will die so she will only do it if she believe that her sacrifice is worth something to the community. Most wild bees from our regions don’t have a hive to defend so they attack even more rarely.

The only real danger with bees (unless you are allergic) is swallowing one because a sting in the throat can swell and block your airwave even if you had no prior allergy. I grew up in a big apple/pear orchard and as kid, we where taught to always look at the food/drinks while eating outside and I never had a problem : only 2 stings total in 30+ years and I believe I deserved at least one of them. Now at my in-laws we have 2 regular bee-hives and many wild-bee hotels and we don’t have any problems with 3 kids in the garden.

But we do trap and kill yellow jackets though because those one will attack for no reason. Sorry for the long answer. I hope it helps.

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 978 days


#11 posted 02-21-2013 05:28 PM

Sorry about your problem Idl. The ones I see most often are “blue orchard bees” :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchard_mason_bee
That particular specie can’t drill in wood and prefers to use the existing cracks. I guess I am lucky !

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View ldl's profile

ldl

1135 posts in 1024 days


#12 posted 02-21-2013 07:07 PM

Francois you are lucky. I never heard about the mason bee till I posted my traps project. Another LJer from the north ask me if they were the same. I couldn’t ans until I looked them up and found they were not. The mason bee’s habitat is in the northern states while the carpenter bee is a southern native.

The bee house posted here would be fine for the mason bee for sure.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3770 posts in 2026 days


#13 posted 02-22-2013 08:21 PM

My neighbors brought over a piece of his deck that had a carpenter bee tunnel in it that was about 8” long and as straight as an arrow … what a drill press!

We have some big ones in the bay area; some about 1/2 the size of a humming bird and you know when they are buzzing around.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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