Towards the end of last summer I had to cut two of our fennel plants down because the they were attracting wasps. I didn’t know wasps were partial to fennel nectar! I didn’t feel comfortable with B playing in the garden with about 30 wasps hanging around. We kept one of the plants as they were so popular with the bees and ladybirds and we welcomed those guests open-heartedly, but wanted a few less wasps in our garden.
I left the cut down plants sitting at the end of the garden. Once Spring arrived this year I went out to tidy up the garden and discovered the thick fennel ‘trunk’ pieces were hollow down the middle. We decided this was perfect to make into a home for solitary bees. I found a tall plastic plant pot which could act as a waterproof cover, cut the ‘trunk’ pieces to size and put them in. There was still some room left so my husband found some other bits of wood, got the drill out, and he and B drilled some holes. It was the first time B had used the drill (carefully supervised!), he was so excited. He wants to be just like daddy!
They drilled holes in each end of the pieces of wood about 3 or 4 inches long, along with some diagonal holes in the middle. We filled up the plastic pot and wedged it amongst the branches of one of our trees which has a snowberry plant growing up around it, the flowers of which the bees love. I made a little sign for the bees, though it was of course it was really just to look pretty rather than being for the bees themselves!
We were having too much fun, out in the sunshine, the boys with their boy-toys, so we made another bee home, slightly different this time. The wood was much denser and more freshly cut and seemed like it would be more waterproof, so we didn’t need a cover for this one. We bundled the sticks together with string and hung it on the fence behind the Forsythia, which the bees rather like.
I hope the solitary bees like them!