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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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?
I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have. Very hard to explain why you're mad ... even if you're not mad.
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.
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.
Celebrate neurodiversity. It's better to think differently than not to think at all.