Giving nature a helping hand: Solitary Bees
My garden is small; not only that, it’s mostly paved and decked as well. Work also makes it hard to concentrate on gardening. That being said, I feel like there is always a nagging voice in my head pushing me to do a bit for nature. Last year I decided to install insect hotel in my garden. I started off with a fairly big sized one I bought from Amazon in March; I believe it cost me about £19;
check it out here. As for that price, the build quality wasn’t that great; some of the bamboo tubing kept falling out throughout the summer. At first there was nothing visiting this hotel; after a while you start feeling disillusioned about it all. I thought to myself, it could be due to two things; location and time of the year. I read about optimum position for insect hotels; most sites talked about locating your hotel off ground, about a metre or so; I did just that and mine was facing south east (not by choice).
As summer crept in; one day as I was leaving for work, I noticed that one of the bamboo tubes had been clogged shut with what looked like mud; I was intrigued; unfortunately, I couldn’t hang on to do further Sherlock Holmes detecting and I forgot to check later on when I got back from work. A few days later, more tubes had been sealed shut.
Over the weekend, I decided to do some investigation; armed with a camera, I waited for what seems like an eternity; no one showed up at the hotel. I needed a new plan. I rearmed myself, this time with a camera, tripod and intervalometer kit, I went on a stack out. I set out the camera to take out a certain number of shots, and this is what I came out with;
I sincerely apologise for the shaky clip; what happened was, I realised quickly that an automated timeline was a nonstarter as I was missing the bee shots; instead, I had to press the shutter button every time a bee arrives hence the shakiness. I have since invested in a remote shutter trigger.
As I read more about solitary bees, I discovered that different types of solitary bees use different material to build their nests. The above is a mason bee, which uses mud to build its nest. It also does this earlier than the next guest in my garden.
Whilst on amazon late at night, as we all are usually; I saw this fancy little hotel; I thought it looked much better than the earlier one. As it turns out, this one is well built as well. Check it out from here.
Once the new hotel was set up, I didn’t have to wait long for my next visitor; I’ve got to say this next visitor was a bit selfish and messed up; she kept cutting up my lovely climber to make her nest. Regardless, I decided to do another timelapse shoot this time around I was a bit steadier; hope you enjoy.
The music was downloaded from https://www.bensound.com
I'm hope my first ever breeding of solitary bees was successful; I will find out soon if they start hatching this year 2019. Hope you've enjoyed my little story; most importantly, hope you've also learned something about nature.. For those of you who are interest in learning more about solitary bees, use the following links below;
Join me soon in my next blog.