I learned a little about wild bee hotels the past few days and decided it would be a nice winter project to make one for later installation in spring. My personal little “green hell” is presumably already pretty suitable for bees, but I like the idea of supporting the little fellows a bit – also against the (only just a little selfish 🙂 ) background of facilitating the pollination of my veggie plants.
Unfortunately, there’s apparently a lot of misinformation and unsuitable products around. Evidently most commercially available products seem to just suck. An informative YouTube Video by a professional biologist (german language) made me aware of some points to consider:
Material & Build
Since I have enough oak firewood here to fill a Jawa Sandcrawler, I decided to use this material as the use of dry hardwood is recommended (among other materials). Drill a lot of holes with different diameters of as small as 3 mm up to 10 mm and 6 to 12 cm deep (the rule of thumb for the depth is ~10 x the diameter of the hole).
Don’t drill through the wood, keep the back side of the holes closed and get rid of any shavings and sawdust (they’ll rot). Smooth the openings. The insects could damage their delicate wings when entering a rough nesting hole – bees know that and won’t colonize your hotel. Also add a little cover to your bee hotel for protection against direct rain. By middle of march, mount it in a sunny spot at a height of at least 70 cm, facing south or southeast.
Then wait and observe – I hope I got it right and I’m curious about how it’ll work out next spring.