The swinging log bee hotel!

In all of the research, papers, etc., I have read about solitary bee nest boxes, they all state such bee nest boxes needed to be secure, fixed and stable when erected. Marc Carlton on his excellent web site, which I can thoroughly recommend “The Pollinator Garden”, states the same. The film is a classic “what not to do” with a bee hotel!!

A nice looking log on a rope, but a swinging bee hotel? Not a good idea!

So why make such a statement?

    1. Bees like to fly directly into the nest site unhindered.
    2. Bees locate their nest sites from a distance as they approach. A swinging nest site makes focusing on it difficult.
    3. Bees only live a short time. They want to lay eggs and complete their nesting site. When it moves, they have to re orientate themselves and reposition their flight path to enter. You can see them attempt to land but can’t and turn around to try again. It’s time wasting for them. The more it swings, the more entry attempts they are forced to make.
    4. In windy conditions, the box may collide with her as she misjudges the speed and distance when she lands, then suddenly collide with the nest box, which may cause injury, damage to her wings, disorientate her or even knock her out.
    5. Injury to her may leave her open to predation or open to inclement weather if grounded.
    6. As the bees may be carrying nest material, the adverse movement of the nest box could cause them to lose their grip on it, e.g. leaf pieces, which they will have to replace. Time wasted again.
    7. Continual movement of the nest box can cause bees to drift away to seek other nesting sites.
    8. Developing larvae can easily become dislodged from their food pile.
    9. Winter gales will certainly swing this nest box rather more violently.
    10. Driving winter rain will soak the wood, enter the cracks, pool then freeze inside, near to the resting bees inside the bamboo canes.

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my teaching, presentations, sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes, and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues.  Thank you” George Pilkington

For more information about solitary bees, BWARS

For info and link to buy an excellent book Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland by Steven Falk

A handy and useful resource supports this book by an extraordinary web site feature within Steve Falk’s Flickr web site which furnishes extra photos and other valuable resources to assist with identification.

Interested in Citizen Science and pollinators? (e.g. bees!) The Buzz Club

Solitary Bees book by Ted Benton

With thanks to Marc Carlton for his link and input.

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