As hoped the weather held out and I got on with my bee nests.
I started out by using the muslin bags to cover the vent holes. We don’t want ants and other bugs getting in there and causing havoc!
I thought I had taken a pic of this part but it seems I didn’t. *sigh* Moving on…
Next came the forming of the mesh that will hold the hay in place and allow an air pocket below the pot. All I did was snip a square slightly larger than the pot and push it in and fold in the corners. Then I snipped a hole slightly larger than the pipe. This would be the ‘entrance’ to the hay part. The pipe won’t actually sit in that hole. It will go into the void at the bottom and simply allow access to the hay area.
Then there was the part where I made a huge mess while filling the pots with hay. I didn’t pack it in tight. I just pushed it in. I then put the mesh back on top and took them outside.
Starting with the image top left I dug out the pit so the pot would sit one third down in the soil. The, top right, I put some plum slate in the hole. This will help keep the air cool.
Next went in the pipe and then the now upturned pot.
It took a couple of goes but I worked out that you need to prop up the pipe first then put the soil over the top or the pipe gets pushed down and you risk having water trickle in through the mouth.
Oh… And make sure you put the pipe the right way round… Yeah… Don’t ask. >.>
That was it. Simple, no?
In the final pic you can see some Lupins pushing up. I chose the position for one of the nests because the nest is sat right between a big patch of lupins and a couple of Centaurea atropurpurea that proved very attractive to bees last year.
After that I did the same with the other one. Again I had to be careful with the entrance to get it the right way up. Yes… The exact same issue I had with the first one. Sheesh, you would think I’d get it right the second time. Obviously not. >.>
The second pot is situated between a Hypericum and a Pieris “Forest Flame”. This site was chosen because it would be both in shadow and, if luck holds, covered and hidden from sight when the Hypericum grows.
I positioned them both near fences and while the 2nd one (On the left) will be in permanent shadow. The first (on the right in front of the Cordyline) will get a bit but it will be hidden by the Lupins long before the sun gets warm enough to be an issue in the summer.
I also chose these places because I can see them both from the library window. Meaning I can keep an eye on them without risking disturbing any bees.
I’m honestly not expecting anything this year. It would be nice if I did though!
If I get any visitors I will let you know. Expect flaily arms if I get any. B-)