The bees have been enjoying the fine weather recently. A while back I put up some homemade bee houses around the garden. They are very popular. Most are occupied, some completely full. I have at least two kinds of tenant. Some have capped their holes with mud, but today I watched several bees fitting little front doors made of discs of leaf they cut from our runner beans and roses.
The homemade bee houses are very simple. Just offcuts of wood with blind holes drilled in them. The holes are 3/8 inch diameter and about 3 inches deep. I screwed some to a fence and some to a small shed. The leaf cutters are just outside my workshop door.
1 May 2013 – lots of activity around the bee houses now, the bees have opened many of the doors (the bees made smaller holes in the mud doors) and it looks as if they are starting a new cycle. Perhaps they would prefer smaller drilled holes than I made for them last year so I made some with holes of about 5/16 inch. That should be more efficient and better for the bees as they will need much less mud and perhaps will produce more new bees in consequence. The bees opened all the leaf doors last autumn, no new activity on those houses yet. Today, 14 May, I see that the houses are filling up again, the old holes, the new 3/8 ones and the new 5/16 ones are all being taken.
13 April 2014 – A fine day, with lots of bees active. They have opened many of the mud doors in the last few days, with bees going in and out.
30 April 2016 – the mud bees are busy today. The sun is shining, but the last week or so has been quite cold so that presumably is why they are a little later this year. Only the holes in the blocks that catch the sun are open so far. There’s been no sign of the leaf cutters since the first year.
8 May 2017 – I saw the mud bees busy today. Cool weather recently.
Summer 2017 – the leaf cutters are back in residence.