Thursday, April 8, 2010

Space for rent

I’ve decided to improve the chances for my somewhat small food growing project that I’ve embarked on by trying to attract more pollinating insects. Last autumn I replanted part of my hedge with more insect attracting shrubs and now I’ve just implemented phase two of operation bug. As regulars may be aware my space is limited (bleedin tiny that is) for the growing of crops so I really feel that I need every advantage that I can make use of. No with absolutely no room (or knowledge) to run a bee hive I’ve come with a plan to attract small, single burrow, wild bees to my small space. This involved destroyed a very cheap and nasty bird box and reconstructing it for the use of these bees. The box was refitted with untreated blocks of 4X4 pine drilled with 41 (count them if you like) 6mm holes for the use of said bees. So hopefully this little tenement will soon be host to a colony of flower hopping wild bees, time will tell.

Well tomorrow it's off to Lake Vyrnwy for the three of us for a stroll and a picnic, but for now I'll just sample another whiskey.
Your friend,


Le Loup said...

Sounds like a good idea. When I was searching for images of Bee-Boxes, the ones used for hunting and trapping bees (to find the honey), I came across these bee boxes like you have made. Here we don,t have to bother, because we have native bees and honey bees with wild hives in the area.
Flowers of course will help attract bees to your garden, and even if you do not have much room, you can plant the odd flower among your vegies.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Well that is very clever of you John. Was it your idea, or did you see that somewhere else? I read recently, to attract any sort of bug, bee, or butterfly, use the color yellow. Apparently, nature is attracted to yellow.

Shoreman said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed that it works.


Anonymous said...

Damn smart idea, John! I found a hive of bumblebees in my compost pile last year. 5 or 8 of them made visits to my hands and wrists and told me to get away! I sure wanted to get them out of there, but it's compost! I'm not spraying bee killer in it.

Have you heard about our honey bees disappearing over here? Haven't heard any definitive answers to the problem, but I did see some last year.

Albert A Rasch said...

Now that is a clever idea!

Beekeeping isn't hard, but it can be seasonably time consuming! Lot's of info on the net for the permaculturally inclined.

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Wolfy said...

I admire your ingenuity in using every usable space for your garden.

Is the bee house something you devised, or is it accepted practice for attracting bees? I've never heard of it before.


Murphyfish said...

Hi Le Loup,
We are trying to squeeze in as many insect attracting flowers as is possible, we’ve also started a small log pile and planted ivy to further the attractions. As these areas mature (including the small area of replanted hedge) and coupled with the small pond we’re hoping to see a steady increase in insect numbers and so hopefully pollinators as well as predatory insects will thrive striking a balance.

Hi Mark,
So am I, all of them!

Hey Owl,
Bumble bee stings, not pleasant but they do take a fair amount of provocation over here. Bee numbers have also apparently suffered on this side of the pond again with no proper reason pin pointed.

Hey Albert,
It’s not that I afraid of learning new skills (hell I’ll stop learning the day I draw me last breath!), it’s literally a question of time and space for hives at the moment, although I have not yet ruled it out for the future.

Karen and Wolfy,
Although I’d love to take credit for the idea it’s not a new concept. Usually this ‘bee colonies’ are made of hollowed sticks such as bamboo tied in a bunch with one end blocked to prevent a wind tunnel effect. The idea of drilling wood was sourced of the net (the world’s biggest library) and it was Clare’s idea to convert the cheap bird box, I just carried out the manually stuff. Hopefully it will attract solitary bees the most common being the red mason bee, but also there are others such as the blue mason and apparently we have some leafcutter bees so fingers crossed. Although I’m thinking that it’ll be next year when ‘hotel Murphyfish’ has weathered some that better results may happen.

To all,
Once again my thanks and regards for your comments and input, as always they are humbly welcomed.

Your friend,

online rent payment said...

Your project looks really nice and hope it really works. This is so creative of you and i wish you all the very best.

Murphyfish said...

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

Damn The Broccoli said...

Think on many vegetable crops will attract bees and bugs.

Courgettes put out very big (and yellow) flowers that bees absolutely adore. They crop amazingly in good conditions and some of the new hybrids (damn them!) are climbers. Even normal ones can be encouraged up netting.

There are ways to maximise space such as 3 sisters planting, look this up on the net. Generally its some kind of squash, sweetcorn and beans, The idea is you plant the sweetcorn, when it has established seed out some beans and when they are going but in some squash.

The corn supports the growing beans whilst the squash provides ground cover choking out weeds, the beans are harvested before the corn is ready and everything is grown in a third of the space. You'll need to feed it like a monster though.