• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Steve Thorn
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Animal Care.

In this Badge Bit you will make a house for mason bees or other types of solitary bees.



Crown Bee's "Native Bee Guide,"--offered through the dailyish freebies--has a lot of great information for how to make a solitary bee house.

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
  - it must be designed to satisfy the cavity nesting characteristics of a solitary bee species in your area
  - it must be designed/located to protect the tubes from rain
  - natural/found materials and steel/wood fasteners (no glue, plastic, cardboard, plywood, stain, paint)

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
  - post a pic of your solitary bee house under construction
  - post a pic of your finished solitary bee house either:
       - in its final mounted location, or
       - not in a final location if the design can handle the weather without additional protection
  - describe what solitary bee species you're making a home for
COMMENTS:
 
steward
Posts: 10832
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3118
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
I made a mason bee house!  I used cupplant stalks, some other stalk (possibly milkweed), twigs and pieces of paper rolled around a pencil.  The housing is a #10 can.  It's under a roof overhang and facing south.  
20190416_191348.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190416_191348.jpg]
20190513_112512.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190513_112512.jpg]
Staff note (Dave Burton) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 135
Location: zone 5b
54
2
kids forest garden books wofati rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
Built a mason bee hotel today, from scrap 1x4s and finish nails, using a hand saw to cut the chunks of board. The reeds were courtesy of Jocelyn, and it was mounted today to the base camp garage!
AD84DAAF-2DC0-4049-AF96-5A8E485232AD.jpeg
[Thumbnail for AD84DAAF-2DC0-4049-AF96-5A8E485232AD.jpeg]
A21E3F46-8030-4DFB-B6E5-414382889743.jpeg
[Thumbnail for A21E3F46-8030-4DFB-B6E5-414382889743.jpeg]
9005F7B4-D179-4CDF-9C88-880F49A1A9DC.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 9005F7B4-D179-4CDF-9C88-880F49A1A9DC.jpeg]
Staff note (Dave Burton) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
Leif Ing
pollinator
Posts: 135
Location: zone 5b
54
2
kids forest garden books wofati rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One note on this BB, for consistency, this one is listed as last picture needing it to be mounted for completion , but the birdhouse BB is not... just requests a photo showing completion. Can we change the wording on one of them? Or is there a logical reason to require one mounted and the other not, since the projects are essentially the same idea but for different species?
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 10832
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3118
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My unbinding position is that a bird house is usually built to withstand the elements so you can mount it anywhere (as long as it's right-side-up).  A mason bee house could be built to go out on a wall without rain protection or it could need to be under an eave.  For instance if paper tubes are used, I believe they need to stay dry.  So your house has a good overhanging roof and could be mounted anywhere.  Mine (coffee can above) has tubes that go all the way to the opening of the can.  If I didn't mount it in a protected place, it wouldn't function.  

I'll edit the requirements to reflect this for now.
 
steward
Posts: 6429
Location: United States
2849
transportation forest garden tiny house books urban greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
This is my in-progress construction picture of my solitary bee habitat. I observed solitary bees trying to enter the holes similar to the size of the screws we used on Allerton Abbey's facade, so I made the holes in my solitary bee habitat about that size (which is about the size of a pencil). I also made some holes smaller and some bigger to provide diversity of habitat.



This is my completed solitary bee habitat that I made to withstand being outside without additional protection.



This is my completed solitary bee habitat hanging on a tree by the hugelkultur that I built.

Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
Posts: 12
Location: PNW
5
4
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
Built a mason bee house last winter. Put it in my 3 sided potting shed. It filled up with mason bees!

Building-supplies-2x4-screws-drill-drill-bit.jpeg
Building supplies 2x4, screws, drill, drill bit
Building supplies 2x4, screws, drill, drill bit
Mounted-in-my-potting-shed-full-of-mason-bees-.jpeg
Mounted in my potting shed, full of mason bees!
Mounted in my potting shed, full of mason bees!
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
gardener
Posts: 633
Location: British Columbia
461
2
monies home care forest garden foraging chicken wood heat homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
Perry the Purple PEP Platypus is back at it!

Check out the awesome Bee House he made!



Just kidding! Perry is a prankster! That was one a purchased. I needed to move it as it was facing West instead of East.

Here is the start of our Bee house:



I drilled 3 different sized holes. The first ones where about the same size as the bee house I purchased. That bee house was designed for mason bees, they are the most common solitary bee aroundhere.







I made a roof to shelter them from rain and hung the log with rope... super awesome knot skills, I know.

Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
gardener
Posts: 1219
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, rental house dweller, going back to Wheaton Labs soon
740
3
hugelkultur kids forest garden trees books wofati cooking bike rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
I got a Mason Bee kit from Crown Bees  they specialize in solitary bees (they're in Paul's mason bee video: https://youtu.be/V8vAQ1B5Zj4 ). With the kit, came some mason bee cocoons! Leafcutters come in may.

My son helped/supervised me; he selected the site, from the two south facing fenceposts we have here at the rental. At his direction, I added some wood to protect it from the rain and canted it to also protect from afternoon sun.

We made sure to give lots of texture to the tube-ends, as crown bees says to: apparently the bees find home visually. Neat!
IMG_20200408_144702.jpg
Under construction
Under construction
IMG_20200408_141138.jpg
Texture!
Texture!
IMG_20200408_144951.jpg
More construction
More construction
IMG_20200408_145714.jpg
Final location, with weather protection
Final location, with weather protection
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I hereby certify this BB complete! And we'll be updating the requirements to specify no cardboard or plastic. Thanks for finding that loophole!

 
pioneer
Posts: 78
Location: Central Virginia, Zone 7.
20
kids trees chicken cooking bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

>> And we'll be updating the requirements to specify no cardboard or plastic.

It appears that 'update' has stopped this thread.

Paper tubes good, cardboard tubes bad?  Looks like I can buy, for example, a Langstroth hive to satisfy some beekeeping PEP prerequisites here ... but I cannot purchase a pack of cardboard mason bee tubes as part of building a mason bee house?
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 10832
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3118
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul tends to not like cardboard due to the glues that are in it.  So that's why paper tubes are preferred to cardboard.  And natural materials like reeds and bamboo are even better.

Not every BB is as stringent on the levels of toxins that are allowed so you will find some that are more lax and the reasons for that are numerous.  
 
Posts: 30
Location: Barcelona
11
forest garden trees tiny house urban books fiber arts
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Edge case BB submission
The most specific solitary ID for Barcelona area I could find was Rhodanthidium sticticum, which don't seem picky. In Spain they even breed inside vacant snail shells. I took dry bamboo canes from a local park and cut them with seceteurs, minimum 6inch tube depth, then chose openings close to pencil diameter size. Bamboo has some drawbacks year over year, but I thought I'd give it a go on a small scale. I have read that large groupings have drawbacks, so I went small. This is a south-facing wall on a covered balcony. I hope my low-tech solution to hang with materials on hand is accepted.

Thanks,
Eileen

ETA: Secured with additional metal fasteners. My understanding based on research is that this stays up two seasons then comes down for maintenance/replacement of tubes to reduce parasites/predator pressure.
IMG_20210224_143434.jpg
Sourced bamboo
Sourced bamboo
IMG_20210224_180001.jpg
Finished
Finished
IMG_20210225_091254.jpg
Reinforced
Reinforced
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl flagged this submission as an edge case BB.
BBV price: 0
Note: Specs say "no glue". Could you upgrade from the tape to a more secure mounting system?

 
gardener
Posts: 633
Location: Washington State
425
forest garden trees rabbit earthworks composting toilet fiber arts sheep wood heat woodworking rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
Here is my submission for the Animal Care - Sand (for Straw Points) - Build a Solitary Bee House BB.

I purchased a Bee House Upgrade Kit with Solitary Beeskit from Crown Bees.  This means I needed to build the house (along with weather protection).  I started with a large (long) metal can and build a roof from cedar and oak. The kit included the reeds (meeting the cavity-nesting characteristics of mason bees which also came with the kit).

The house was mounted on the east side of a shed for morning sun to help warm the bees.  The wooden roof overhangs the reeds by nearly four inches to protect from rain.

To document the completion of the BB, I have provided the following:
  - post a pic of your solitary bee house under construction
  - post a pic of your finished solitary bee house in its final mounted location

describe what solitary bee species you're making a home for - Mason Bees
the box of bees is inside the house so the bees can warm up and hatch
there is also a tray of mud near the bee house for their use
1.jpg
Cedar and Oak for roof
Cedar and Oak for roof
2.jpg
Mounted on east end of shed for morning sun
Mounted on east end of shed for morning sun
3.jpg
closeup to show overhang and reeds
closeup to show overhang and reeds
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
pioneer
Posts: 108
Location: SF Bay, California Zone 10b
32
forest garden fungi foraging cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Approved BB submission
According to what I've read there are many species of mason bee native to California. Unfortunately I haven't been able to observe any, but if they are around they can take advantage of this house I made! Very simple design, I drilled a bunch of holes in a log. I put it under a tree, facing east to get the morning sun. There are holes of varying size to accommodate different bees.
IMG_20210507_180658.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210507_180658.jpg]
Complete shelter!
IMG_20210507_174610.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210507_174610.jpg]
Some holes drilled
IMG_20210507_172911.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210507_172911.jpg]
Log!
IMG_20210507_181948.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210507_181948.jpg]
Facing east, with some poison oak to keep it company.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl flagged this submission as an edge case BB.
BBV price: 0
Note: Can you explain how the holes can't get wet when it rains?

Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
Malek Beitinjan
pioneer
Posts: 108
Location: SF Bay, California Zone 10b
32
forest garden fungi foraging cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The tree it's under has a lot of foliage that should block rain. The holes are facing down on a slight slope, so any water that runs by will flow away from them. Here's a zoomed out photo to show more of the tree.
IMG_20210509_103023.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210509_103023.jpg]
 
Posts: 20
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
BB submission pending approval
I received leaf-cutter bees (at least a block of their larva, anyway). They came in a block of drilled wood. They need to be off the ground, be sheltered from the wind, and face the sun in the morning to get up and warm enough to fly! So I built a little shelf for them under the eaves of my barn.
My kids and I learned about them to make this habitat. I will also fashion a reed section of this house and supply clay mud in a close vicinity. Next I'm excited to plant 3-season nectar flowers for them!!
20210616_205003.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210616_205003.jpg]
20210616_205354.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210616_205354.jpg]
20210616_211119.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210616_211119.jpg]
20210616_211221.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210616_211221.jpg]
20210618_173006.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210618_173006.jpg]
gift
 
Unofficial Companion Guide to the Rocket Oven DVD
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic