This week, you will make your own mason bee hotel! We learned about mason bees earlier this year. They are solitary bees that build their homes in cracks, crevices, and other openings they find in nature. They are non-destructive and are excellent pollinators!
- Medium size can
- 2 rolls of toilet paper (empty)
- Sheets of paper
- Non-toxic glue
- Paint for the tin can (optional)
1. Paint the can (optional)
If you decide to paint the can, we recommend to do it first. You can do different design or just plain color. Make sure to be careful, as the edges of a tin can will be sharp.
2. Create paper rolls
Measure the length of your can and cut your paper in a way that the length of the paper roll will fit inside the can. The band of paper should be ~5 inches long (half the length of a sheet of paper). The goal is to have a roll of 5 layers minimum. Cut the paper as efficiently as you can.
Roll the paper around a pencil to get the right shape, then tape edge of the paper band to the roll to keep the diameter, remove the pencil. Create rolls of 1/4in up to 1/2in. You will need ~30 rolls, depending on the size of your tin can and paper rolls.
3. Place the rolls inside the can
You can apply a thin layer of glue at the bottom of your can. Place your 2 toilet paper rolls where you wish inside the can and fill up the empty space with your paper rolls.
Once done shake your can slightly and make sure that everything stays in place. Add more glue at the bottom or more paper rolls to keep things sturdy if needed.
4. Find a location
The new mason bee house needs to be in an open, sunny spot which isn’t shaded by plants, about 3ft from the ground. The fixing must be secure – the can shouldn’t flap and move about in the wind.
Project provided by the Pacific Beach Coalition.