Jan's Day Off: To Bee or Not to Bee - West Wind Hardwood

Forget bird houses, these days it’s all about the bees; mason bees to be precise. We’ve all heard of the decline in honeybees and habitat loss but at $1+ per cocoon, we’ve hesitated and our fruit trees seem to produce just fine.

A month ago, we discovered that Jan’s dad had made these same bee houses. Without any cocoon purchases (rent must have been cheap enough) they were pretty much all rented out for the season. And by the following weekend, we had our own homes up and running. We’d become proud official so to be bee keepers trying to make a difference.

In-house Inspiration – Built by Ove Nielsen (Jan’s dad)

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Always happy to chat about projects, Jan mentioned his new venture to a friend whose comment was “but you’ll be stealing someone else’s ‘paid-for’ bees”.  And here I thought we were simply attracting errant bees in need of a hospitable refuge……and don’t the babies need a home to return too?

Jan’s Bee Houses

We’d been told it can take a full season to successfully attract resident bees. In the meantime, we’d provide a healthy ‘bee’ environment with a diversified bee and butterfly friendly garden. And knowing a little water + a little soil = mud didn’t hurt either.  It’s a great construction material.  Where else did you think the name “MASON” bee came from?!  As you can see in the photo below, we have a guest!  They took the basement suit with a corner view.

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Build a Home. Provide some Grub. The Bees will come.
Here’s the plan that got us there.

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