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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:
 
master steward
Posts: 8680
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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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.  
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Staff note (Dave Burton) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 120
Location: zone 6 (Kansas City)
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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!
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Staff note (Dave Burton) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
Leif Ing
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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
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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
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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
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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: 484
Location: British Columbia
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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: 1176
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, rental house dweller, going back to Wheaton Labs soon
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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!
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Under construction
Under construction
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Texture!
Texture!
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More construction
More construction
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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!

 
He's dead Jim. Grab his tricorder. I'll get his wallet and this tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
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