For the first day of VIRTUAL EARTH WEEK, I’d like to share 2 fun facts. 1) It is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Let’s make our Earth proud! 2) It’s the 20th anniversary for Davidson Lands Conservancy! We’re so thankful for the 300+ acres of land we’ve been able to protect!
Many of our important pollinators live solitary lives, unlike honeybees in a hive working together. But these pollinators, such as mason bees, are just as important to our food supply, as they pollinate many of our crops. So a fun way to support them in your very own yard is to make a simple pollinator hotel and attach it to a tree! They use these spaces to lay their eggs. We attempted this today and, with a couple of mis-steps due to my fear of power tools, we have a lovely hotel ready to hang.
- Wooden box ( I had a hanging box shelf/frame thing in my Goodwill pile, but you can easily make a box with 4 small pieces of wood.
- You can also use a large yogurt or take out container (be creative!)
- Drill with different size bits
- Sticks, bamboo (if available), and bigger sections of wood
- Something to saw the pieces with if needed
- Get your box or container built/ready. Kids are handy for stick collection.
- Be safe! I learned a few things about drills that I wish I’d thought to learn ahead of time.
- Taking the larger pieces of wood, we drilled holes with 2 of our largest drill bits about 2 inches into the wood. Shake out wood shavings.
There was some drilling drama and I injured my hand, but this is sort of typical for projects I undertake. I accept the eye rolls from my spouse.
4. We then realized some bamboo would be very helpful as it is already hollow. So my son and I hopped in the car to go to an empty lot that is covered in bamboo. He helpfully sat in the car snacking while I harvested dead, fallen-over bamboo.
5. We brought it home and I looked for a saw. Could not find one in the garage, so I grabbed some sort of hatchet. I had already interrupted spouse’s work day 4 times with the drilling drama, so I figured surely a hatchet will do the job! If your bamboo is old and cracking, the hatchet, in fact does not do the job. It splits the bamboo. Live and learn! I managed to get a few hollow pieces of bamboo and added them to frame.
6. I filled the rest in with sticks, creating nooks and crannies for critters and, voila!, a solitary pollinator hotel!
Can’t wait to observe it over the summer! When tubes get covered over in what looks like mud, you’ll know there’s an egg in there! When larvae are ready to emerge, they’ll dig their way out!