Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Post 221 Native bees

This year I've noticed we have a good number of native bees on some of our flowering shrubs and so started doing some research on them and where to acquire a hive. They seem to be a pretty hot item these days and a populated hive is quite expensive. I mentioned my research to a friend and he said 'oh yes I've got some of them nesting in a wall'.
Of course that was just too tempting. He was more than happy for me to come along and try to offer them somewhere better to live.
By connecting the entrance of such a wild hive to a constructed hive box and forcing the bees to move through the new hive there is a good chance they will take up residence. This is called 'eduction'.

The first thing has been to make a surface to mate the new hive to. Here I've secured a timber plate to the wall and a joint to insert a tube to connect to the new hive. The bees straight away just kept on coming and going, not too disturbed at all.

I then built a shelf to hold the hive while the eduction proceeds. Apparently this could take many months.

This is the hive. It is actually in two parts secured by an external skin of ply. On the front is the future gateway. To the rear is another port for the tube to the wall.

The location is up on a very exposed wall and over coming months will be very exposed to the sun for protracted periods. This is not good, so I thought the both insulation and a sun/weather shade might be necessary. This is the insulation layer - made of polystyrene, glued together with liquid nails. It doesn't need to cover every surface just those exposed to direct sunlight. The white surface will be a good reflector too.

And this is the roof. A nice piece of colorbond steel.

I'll give the bees another couple of days to settle and then fit the new hive into position to start the process. The weather is warming and there are plenty of flowers around for pollen and nectar; a good time for them to get building.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Happy to hear your advice, feedback or questions