Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bee Houses for Attracting Beneficial Bees

While it's likely we will get more snow here in eastern Colorado, it's unseasonably warm with no hard freezes in the forecast. With the quickly accelerating warming trend we've seen the last few years, we may not get really cold again. But still I know it isn't yet time to plant cool season seeds. I did put out some radishes and orach, but will try to wait on peas and other greens. It really is too early.

But today it is near 60, and a honey bee was very interested in the compost pile. Poor thing is thirsty and hungry, and not a flower in sight. So in honor of the season's first bee, I put out our bee houses.

We have two. A bumble bee house:

It has two chambers, one for workers and one for the queen. The lid lifts off, and there is a piece of plexiglass for viewing the bees. I put it back by the fruit trees, which are some of the first to bloom when real spring hits.

And our mason bee house:

I hung it on the side of our patio, so it has a south-facing exposure. I made sure it was far enough from the bumble bee house, since the bumble bees can be territorial. They will lay eggs in fall, and next spring they will emerge.

Here is some more information on attracting beneficial bees to your yard.

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