Bumble Bees are responsible for pollinating our tomatoes, so why not give them a helping hand by providing a nice office in the backyard? There are two compartments inside this design, divided by a piece of wood with a hole in it, so the bees are able to crawl from one room to the other.
Start by cutting 9 pieces of wood. The long ones are 41 cm (16″) and the short ones are 15 cm (6″). I have used some spare wood with the dimensions 9.5 cm x 2 cm (3.7″ x 0.8″), but something else can be used instead:
Drill three holes in the middle of the short pieces: Entrance, middle corridor and peek hole. The piece with the peek hole I made with a 10 mm (0.39″) drill:
The holes for the entrance and the middle corridor needs to be 20 mm (0.79″) in diameter:
I didn’t have a drill this big so I used a file to make the holes bigger:
A Dremel can also be used if you’re impatient 😉
I found that if I drilled first with a 2 mm (0.079″) drill it was much easier to get the screws in when assembling the nest:
You can use an electric drill for the screws if you want to work faster:
Left side assembled:
Left and right side assembled:
The three walls are fastened to the left side. The front compartment is 15 cm x 15 cm (6″ x 6″). This is where the bees can set up a defence against the outer world. The nesting compartment in the back is 20 cm x 15 cm (7.9″ x 6″). The walls are 2 cm (0.79″) thick:
I put in two pieces of cardboard as floor, which should make it easier to clean after the season, but I’m not sure, if parasite eggs will survive in the joints of the box, so that I’ll have to scrap the whole box and build a new one next year. I have to do more research on this.
Moss has been put in the larger nesting compartment:
The two pieces to put on top as roof have been glued together to keep the rain from dropping down from the joint:
The finished nesting box is lifted from the ground to keep it dry:
Then we’ll just have to wait for a queen to find the nest in the spring. The plastic bag of peat moss you see on the left was the nest of last year, so there should be a chance that a queen will stop by and move in.