Bumblebees are important pollinators for crops like tomatoes and blueberries. However, they often get overlooked in favor of honeybees. That's why building a bumblebee house can be a fun and easy way to help these important fuzzy creatures survive and thrive.
In this article and video, Marion Owen, a nature lover and bee enthusiast in Kodiak, Alaska explains the importance of bumblebees and how to build a bumblebee house. Plus, she shares resources such as:
A set of plans to build a 2-room bumblebee house (nesting box)
Associations that support these fuzzy pollinators
Amazing facts about bumblebees
According to Owen, bumblebees have a small colony of a few hundred individuals that start over every year. The colony is led by a queen who emerges from hibernation in the spring to find a suitable nesting area.
Once the queen finds the ideal spot, she starts laying eggs, and the workers go out to find nectar and pollen to build the colony throughout the summer. In late summer or early fall, the colony makes new queens for next year's generation.
The following are some of the key points shared by Owen in her video: Save the Bees: Build a Bumblebee House for an Easy Scrap Wood Project.
To help these amazing creatures, Owen suggests building a bumblebee house.
"A bumblebee house is easy to build, which makes it a perfect project for nature lovers of all ages," she says.
She provides plans and instructions for building a two-room bumblebee house, which includes a vestibule for the bumblebee to clean herself off and defecate before entering the larger nesting chamber.
Owen also emphasizes the importance of adding ventilation holes to the bumblebee house to prevent the interior from getting too hot and humid.
Additionally, the nesting chamber should be filled with a fluffy material like cotton batting or dried and shredded sphagnum moss, as bumblebees don't have the ability to carry materials to their nest.
When it comes to painting the bumblebee house, Owen suggests getting creative with bright colors and strong lines and geometric shapes.
"I have found that bright colors, especially yellow, and orange, and white, and strong lines and geometric shapes, seem to attract the most number of queen bees," she says.
She also advises placing the bumblebee house in a warm and dry location, preferably south-facing but shaded from direct sunlight.
While it might take a season or two to find a spot that attracts queen bumblebees, Owen encourages nature lovers to keep trying.
"Meanwhile, enjoy watching and taking pictures and movies of bumblebees," she says. "Try the slow-mo feature on your smartphone, it's awesome!"
In conclusion, building a bumblebee house is a fun and easy way to help these important pollinators thrive. With Marion Owen's helpful tips and instructions, anyone can create a welcoming home for bumblebees in their backyard.
So why not give it a try? By providing a home for bumblebees, you'll not only help them thrive, but you'll also be helping to ensure the health of our food systems.
Would you like to see more of Marion's videos? Follow this link to her YouTube channel, The Gardener's Coach.
Why Your Compost Doesn't Get HOT and 10 Easy Ways To Fix It
Gardeners tell me there's nothing more frustrating than to invest tons of time and energy into making compost, only to have it turn into a soggy, smelly mess. Or dry out altogether so it just sits there.
That's why I created this guide: To help you assess your compost and then apply solutions so you can get your compost pile back on its feet.
Take a moment to imagine a greener lawn, tastier veggies, and a garden that's a made-in-heaven dream to maintain.
With Marion's guide you can get finished Compost in only Six Weeks!
Who is Marion Owen?
Learn the fine art of nurturing your dream garden using organic methods that have been fine-tuned over 35 years by Marion Owen, New York Times bestselling author.
Gardening techniques that have been proven to work by Marion's students longing for their own dream garden in landscapes as diverse as North America, India, Europe, UK and Australia.
Finally, you can throw away all those harsh chemicals, as Marion only teaches methods that are in tune with Mother Nature!
Marion Owen's approach to fulfilling your dream garden will save you hundreds of dollar. At the same time bring natural vitality to you, your family and the planet.
Start to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables using a methodology in harmony with the natural environment.