Exhibition A: The Log Pile
The log pile was meant for carpenter and mason bees, but I mostly saw very large ants staying in the holes drilled into the logs. There were some centipedes and earthworms at the bottom of the pile. I did find some mud houses that may have belonged to the mason bees, but I cannot be sure. At least the log pile does bring in some garden helpers.
|The Log Pile|
Exhibition B: House Wasp
I read about bumble bees being very efficient pollinators – more than your usual honey bee. This design was meant to attract and house them close to my garden. For two years it remained vacant, but during the summer months of 2013 (Jan-Mar), some of the smaller paper wasps have taken up residence.
Someone, who shall not be mentioned, moved the box and placed the entrance against the wall – I moved the box back and found that my previous carton roll entrance had been eaten by the rain. I fixed this with a new toilet paper roll wrapped in plastic – but for this I had to lift the lid… and was surprised to find a humongous paper wasp nest – a good two tennis ball sizes! I quickly repaired the box and left the now-angry wasp alone. I put up some warning signs; should unmentionable persons want to move it again.
Paper wasps are great predators to have around the garden, rounding up caterpillars to feed to their young. The adults like to pollinate aggregate fruit flowers (such as raspberries, blue berries and strawberries) and they also like to visit the marjoram flowers.
Seeing as this insect house was successful, I thought to make another and share the design with you:
1 Person & less than 30 minutes
Polystyrene ice box (get @ plastic shop)
Piece of frost fleece or old sieve curtain
14 tooth picks
Packet of wood shavings
Piece of plastic/small plastic bag
Toilet roll carton
- Cut a hole into the front of the polystyrene ice box to fit in the toilet roll carton.
- Wrap the toilet roll carton in the plastic bag with a little plastic overhang on the outside to ward off rain.
- Stuff the toilet roll carton into the front hole.
- Fill the box with wood/pet shavings.
- Cut the frost fleece to size and secure with the screws (Do not tighten
too much – else you’ll strip the polystyrene!).
- Stick the toothpicks about half-way into the polystyrene around the top of the fleece.
- Put the lid on and pin into the toothpicks – leave a little bit of room at the lid for some airflow.
- Tie off with twine to prevent the lid from coming off during heavy winds.
- Cut a V into the bottom of the plastic overhang to prevent the plastic
from warping and blocking the entrance.
- Place in a shady, rain-protected spot, such as under a table/tree.
- The box can be placed on some bricks in case of flooding.
- (Optional) Secure a water and fade-proof warning sign onto the box.
- Wait one-two seasons for inhabitants.
You will likely forget about the house, as I did, and be delighted to see the inhabitants buzzing in and out on garden duty. I am also looking into establishing as insectary in my garden and will have a full post on that next month!
|Paper wasp nest|
Have you tried insect homes? Do you have a winning design?
Did my gardening advise work? Want to donate to Roots &Shoots?
|Amazon eGift Card|
Click on the image above to donate via a bobBucks Voucher or an Amazon eGift Card to email@example.com Thanx! I really appreciate it! Every little bit makes a difference, even as little as $5 or R10 :)
Please share with fellow gardening enthusiasts via the various sharing buttons at the end of posts/pages! Else you can vote for posts through the Google reactions bar at the end of articles. To stay up to date I have provided several reader and social networking platforms with which to subscribe: Twitter, Pinterest, RSS Feed Reader or Email/Follow directly using the Blog Followers widget on the left hand side toolbar. Thank you for reading and please feel free to ask if questions arise - I appreciate comments and ideas too! 😆