Today I finally built some nesting logs for native bees. I got inspired by the frequent postings of Gail Eichelberger about native plants and native polinators on her blog Clay and Limestone. I then used some instructions from the Xerces Society (PDF), grabbed some old oak logs and got to work. Most native bees build solitary nests. Some nest in the ground and others nest in holes in wood or other cavities.
According to the Xerces Society, holes for wood nesting bees should be 3/32″ to 3/8″ wide and at 3-4″ deep for holes less than 1/4″ in diameter. And they should be spaced about 3/4″ apart. Since I had a 3/16″ drill bit on hand, that’s the size that I chose.
I dug three holes in my front yard garden near the pink skullcap. Then I buried the lower portion of the logs deep enough that they would be stable, with the holes facing Southeast. The holes are only in the upper portion of the logs.
I’ll find out over the coming months if any bees decide to take advantage of these logs. As an added bonus, the logs add a decorative element to the garden.