Damson Cottage Garden

Bee and Bug Boxes

Brilliant bees! They are essential to pollinate plants to produce a bumper crop of fruit (fingers crossed!). I spent an hour this morning making bee boxes to encourage these helpful pollinators into our garden. I was inspired by this beautiful bee box which I spied on a recent visit to the walled garden at Wimpole.

Bee box in the walled garden at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Bee box in the walled garden at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

My homemade bee box

My homemade version

I am (clearly!) not a carpenter but found it easy to make this. I know it is a bit wonky but I think that adds to its character! I made it from bits lying around the garden.

You need a plank of wood. The plank I used was 10cm wide and 72cm long. Cut it as shown in the diagram below.

How to make a bee and bug box

I used a plank of wood 72 x 10 x 2 cm.

Sections for the bee and bug box

Sections for my bee box

Screw together the pieces of wood into the shape below. Of course feel free to use wood glue or nails.

Making a bee box

The body of the bee and bug box

Cut up bamboo or any other hollow plant stems to fit inside the shell. I also used some wood with holes drilled into it to give the bees and bugs lots of housing options.

Cut up bamboo canes and sticks

Cut up bamboo canes or any hollow stem. The bees will lay their eggs in here in the Autumn

Put all of the bamboo and other sticks inside the shell. I found it best to put the large pieces in first then wedge the smaller bamboo pieces in the gaps. I decided not to use glue in case the bugs and bees didn’t like it.

Arrange the hollow sticks and bamboo inside the casing

Arrange the hollow sticks and bamboo inside the casing

I put the finished bee box against a south facing wall next to our fruit trees.

Bee box with fruit trees

Fingers crossed for buckets of fruit once the pollinators move in

I also hung up a store bought bee box in a sheltered part of the garden.

My grandad bought me this bee box for christmas last year. We will have to see which one the bugs and bees prefer

My grandad bought me this bee box for christmas last year. We will have to see which one the bugs and bees prefer

While I was in bee box mode I made this version inside a terracotta plant pot. So easy, just bamboo canes and hollowed out wood.

Easy cheap bug and bee hotel

A quicker version

In the UK the holes are likely to be used by solitary bees like the Mason or Leaf cutter bees. These are thankfully non- aggressive and have been shown to increase fruit yields when they are about. The bees will lay their eggs in the tubes and will plug up the entrance with mud or leaves in Autumn. You can put the bee box in a non-heated shed over the worst of the winter and in early Spring hang up the bee box again so the larvae can hatch and get to work in the garden.

You may even find overwintering ladybirds and lacewings in it. Lacewings and ladybirds are very helpful in the garden. They both eat aphids so are great to have as residents.

Happy bee and bug box making, Jane

2 Responses to Bee and Bug Boxes

  1. Sue says:

    Good for the garden, good for the bees. Happy days. Love your blog.

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much, Jane

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