Listen with Your Eyes
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The blog of designer-maker Laura Thompson who specializes in fibre art, including art dolls, bowls, art journals and artful clothing.  Creativity, kindness, understanding and patience. 

 

 

Bee Hotel

Bees are a hot topic right now. If you're a gardener, you already know that bees are one of the key components of a beautiful garden. But even if gardening's not your thing, chances are you like to eat. And, bees are essential for the the pollination and growth of crops. Around the world bee populations are declining and there is a lot of interest in using bee houses or hotels to help bolster their declining numbers. Please note that bee hotels are not for honey bees or bumblebees, but Mason and other solitary bees. Here's a simple bee hotel I've made for my garden. Learning the best place to sight yours AND how to properly maintain it is beyond the scope of this post. But, there's lots of information on the internet to help you based upon where you live and the length of your growing season. Enjoy!

 
I have a pile of old cedar shingles that are perfect for the roofs of my hotels.

I have a pile of old cedar shingles that are perfect for the roofs of my hotels.

I recently removed a wildly overgrown honeysuckle bush in my yard. The younger branches are hollow and will be used in the hotel and with . . . 

I recently removed a wildly overgrown honeysuckle bush in my yard. The younger branches are hollow and will be used in the hotel and with . . . 

lengths of 1cm and 2cm bamboo poles.

lengths of 1cm and 2cm bamboo poles.

 

I cut a simple house shape from new 2" x 8" pine and two narrow pieces of cedar shingle for the roof.

I cut a simple house shape from new 2" x 8" pine and two narrow pieces of cedar shingle for the roof.

 
Using a simple spiral pattern, I plotted a series of holes on a piece of paper. Using a push pin I marked the position of each dot.

Using a simple spiral pattern, I plotted a series of holes on a piece of paper. Using a push pin I marked the position of each dot.

 
This made a series of pin pricks, marking the position to drill the holes.

This made a series of pin pricks, marking the position to drill the holes.

 
I drilled a hole at each spot, randomly choosing a small, medium or large drill bit so that the holes varied in size around the spiral.I 

I drilled a hole at each spot, randomly choosing a small, medium or large drill bit so that the holes varied in size around the spiral.I 

 
The small holes were left as is. I cut short lengths from the honeysuckle branches and 1cm bamboo poles and stuffed them into the medium and large holes. One length of honeysuckle branch fit nicely into the medium holes while one piece bamboo and several lengths of honeysuckle branches filled up the large holes. I did not use glue - I simply used pieces that were fat enough to fit in snuggly.

The small holes were left as is. I cut short lengths from the honeysuckle branches and 1cm bamboo poles and stuffed them into the medium and large holes. One length of honeysuckle branch fit nicely into the medium holes while one piece bamboo and several lengths of honeysuckle branches filled up the large holes. I did not use glue - I simply used pieces that were fat enough to fit in snuggly.