In order to have a productive garden, you need your plants to be pollinated. While some plants are pollinated by birds, bats, and even the wind, the majority of pollination happens because of bees.
With bee populations declining because of shrinking habitats, it is important to encourage bees to your garden and give them a place to call their own. While some people may elect to have a full hive on their property, many municipalities have rules and regulations governing those; while other people don’t want the additional responsibility & expense of maintaining a healthy hive.
For the rest of us, these nesting blocks (pictured) are the way to go. You can purchase a nesting block ready to go for about $18 and mount it to a tree or a fence post. But for those of us who are a bit more frugal, you can make one yourself.
:: HOW TO
To make a nesting block, you’ll need a piece of untreated wood at least 4 inches deep and 8 inches long. Avoid cedar, which is toxic to insects.
Drill a grid of holes varying from 3/32 to 3/8 inch in diameter, spacing them approximately ¾ inch from each other. Drill deep holes, even going all the way through the block, to maximize the nesting depth. You will have a backing board so the bees will only be able to enter from one direction.
Attach the block to a backing board and install a sloping roof that extends in front of the block to shelter the holes from the elements. Mount the backing board on a sturdy fence post, tree, or building in a site where the holes will get only gentle morning sun.