Make a bumblebee nest box
Bumblebee’s nest in the ground. The queen bumblebee usually tries to find an abandoned mouse or vole hole by tracking the scent of the rodents nest, but you can help out the bees by building this bumblebee nest box.
You will need:
- A trowel
- A flowerpot
- 12cm by 12cm piece of slate
- Wood shavings or hay
Dig a hole in the ground deep enough to hold the flowerpot. The pot needs to be ceramic, with a central drainage hole.
Drop in some hay or wood shavings. This will help the queen to find it as it smells like a mouse’s nest.
Put the upturned flowerpot in the hole, set out the stones in a square shape around it and place the slate on top to keep the rain out.
I have taken a photo of my finished bumblebee nest and it looks like I have my first visitor!
Bees are important pollinators, they need pollen and nectar from flowers to supply them with protein and carbohydrates. A pollinator is an animal that causes plants to make their fruit or seeds. They do this by moving the yellow dust you find in the centre of a plant, called ‘pollen’ to another part of the plant. This pollen then fertilizes the plant so that it can make its fruit and this is how much of our food is produced.
We depend on bees to pollinate our fruit trees, our soft fruits like raspberries and strawberries, green vegetables like beans, broccoli and cauliflower but also herbs, nuts, coffee plants and cocoa which is used to produce chocolate. A life without bees could be a life without chocolate and who wants that?
Small gardens or even a window box can offer a great food source for all our pollinators. Fill your garden or box with flowering bee friendly plants such as lavender, buddleias, anemones and any nectar-rich flowers. Choosing species that bloom at different times will give bees a constant food source.