Can someone catch a bee with sticks?

Wild bees

  • “We have tree grates in the garden from a recently felled tree and have now considered making nesting aids out of them. How big (wide and deep) do the drill holes have to be, where should the tree grates be hung, etc. We are grateful for tips of all kinds! "
  • "I've read about" Nesting Stones for Bees ". Are they just as useful as nest wood (tree grates, etc.)? "
  • “I hung a Wilbbienen hotel on our garden shed in the spring. It was very well received. Today I found out that a hungry bird (we also have woodpeckers) has pecked almost all the holes. Is everything now gone, and how can I protect the bee hotel from such attacks? My kids are very upset because they were very fascinated by the bees. "
  • “Tits picked lots of clay lids on one of my well-visited wooden nesting blocks. But they can hardly get close to the filled brood cells. Should I close the cells again with something (e.g. clay) before I possibly attach wire netting? "
  • “Last year we had bees in the garden shed, now we have a pretty nesting tile in which almost all the holes have now been bricked up. Unfortunately I cannot determine which species is nesting there, but I would like to explain it to our little daughter. "
  • “Many nesting holes are open, but the bees don't refill them. Currently there are only around 6–10 bees that are working hard. I have just discovered many small mites or the like on the nesting holes in the open nesting holes. Does this affect the bees? "
  • “We have a nesting aid for bees made from bamboo tubes of various sizes. A couple of bees moved in in the summer, and now in the autumn I have brought in the apiary for the winter and cleaned it so that bees can move in again next year. The tubes inhabited by bees were stuck with earth. A bee fell out while cleaning it, it was in a kind of cocoon, and I peeled it off because I thought it was dead. But then she moved a little leg very weakly. I think she has since died. What else did the bee do in the tube? Do the animals stay in it during the winter? "
  • “I have drilled tree grates as a nesting aid. When can I cleanly drill out the used or not hatched nest tunnels again? Because either some are just hatching or nests are being closed again at the same time! "

Nesting bricks on screen printing plate

The questions cited are asked again and again by nature lovers who want to settle wild bees with nesting aids in their gardens, on their balconies, etc.

  • Nesting woods: Of the many types of wood, only hardwoods are suitable for bee nesting aids, i.e. oak, ash, beech and fruit trees; In comparison, coniferous woods are quite soft and generally unsuitable because their coarse-fibred softwood prevents the necessary smooth inner walls of the drill holes and also swells due to moisture and could then crush larvae and cocoons. Pieces of logs and beams are better than tree grates, as more and more cracks appear in these, making the drill holes impossible to break. Before drilling, the woods have to dry for several months, which leads to shrinkage of the wood; Discs with many cracks must then be sorted out. Suitable drills are primarily wood drills, but also HSS drills for intermediate sizes (e.g. 3.5 mm). The boreholes should have a diameter of 2.5 to 8 mm and be at least ten times as long as they are wide; d. H. you simply drill up to the drill chuck of the drill.
  • "Nesting stones":" Nesting stones "are not quite as popular as nesting woods, but are definitely recommended when it comes to bricks that have been specially perforated for solitary bees and wasps with different diameters and fired at almost 1000 ° Celsius.
  • Hollow stalk: Anyone who offers nesting aids with hollow stems, stalks, etc. should provide different inner diameters. Pieces 12-20 cm long are suitable, e.g. B. of blackberry tendrils, elder branches, mullein stalks and bamboo tubes as well as reed stalks and cardboard tubes specially offered for nesting aids. All stalks, stalks, etc. must be stacked horizontally in a suitable container and open at the front end, but closed at the rear end. The stalks can be closed by pressing one end against the rear wall of the container, and if this was previously done with z. B. wood glue or assembly glue was coated, even those stems withstand a bird's beak that do not get stuck between others. Stem with knots (Nodes) in the end they are locked there, but they are difficult to clamp. Any pith that may be present must be removed from the stems (e.g. with a cordless screwdriver), stems containing pith - such as blackberries or mullein - are only suitable as nesting sites if they are attached vertically or at an angle (and if possible individually).
  • Location: Provided with a hanger, the nesting aids should be in a dry, warm and preferably sunny and not drafty location, e.g. B. be dowelled to a wall. Although some bees also accept nesting aids on the west side of a house or in the shade, nesting aids oriented east to south that are exposed to the sun for many hours are preferred to be colonized. Nesting aids that are hung in trees, i.e. shaded and dangling in the wind, are not colonized.
  • protection in front rain and heat: Wetness is the greatest enemy of a nesting aid, so it must be installed under an overhanging roof or balcony or have its own roof. However, this does not protect the back of a block of wood, which can remain permanently damp and rot if it comes into contact with a wall; so it pays to screw the nesting block onto a silk screen or metal plate. The roof of a nesting aid can, by the way, shade the nesting holes - this is even recommended in very hot locations.
  • protection in front Birds: Tits and woodpeckers feed their offspring, among other things. with protein-containing larvae and caterpillars, do not disdain bee larvae once they have discovered the nesting passages. While woodpeckers can ruin an entire nesting aid made of wood and even wooden concrete (too soft) with their mighty beaks, tits often only chop the loamy nest closures on blocks of wood and nesting bricks and then look "into the tube", because mason bees instinctively direct the cell in front leave empty behind the lid. However, when tits want to rob small tubes, they often pull the whole tube out of the nesting aid. This can be remedied by a piece of wire netting that is wide enough not to hinder the bees excessively when approaching, but tightly meshed enough to deny access to a tit; So 10 or 12 mm are too tight.
  • determination: Bee species can often be determined not only by their appearance, but also by the size, shape and color of their nest closures in natural cavities and artificial nesting aids. Therefor there are to the Species portraits a determination page and an additional one - Leaflet to print out.
  • Mites: A severe mite infestation rarely occurs. However, too high a parasite pressure can be the cause of decreasing colonization. If a nesting aid that has been heavily infested with mites is withdrawn from use for a year, the pests cannot multiply any further. If colonization is prevented after the last bees have fled out (see below), even cleaning a nesting aid is justifiable. This is of course only possible safely from midsummer, when all the bees have flown out.
  • Cleaning? The authors of the last two inquiries did not understand the purpose of nesting aids at all: Nesting aids are not primarily residential or overnight accommodation, but rather, as the word suggests, are intended to offer bees nesting opportunities for the purpose of reproduction, which are increasingly rare in nature. (Designations such as "bee hotel" or "insect hotel" are therefore misleading.) The nesting aids only hatch in the spring or summer of the following year, which ensures the conservation of the species. The "cleaning" of nesting passages (bores, tubes) consequently destroys the offspring of bees and is therefore even a violation of the law, since the Federal Nature Conservation Act forbids catching, injuring or killing wild animals of the specially protected species, including their forms of development.
    Of course, not every brood is successful, for various reasons some larvae always die, so that over the years more and more nest closures remain unopened. If you now have reason to suspect that there could be no more life in a nesting block, you can put it in a box with a hole about the size of € in spring. Any bees that are still alive then hatch and fly through the hole into the open air. If the nesting corridors of the nesting aid are facing away from the box hole, they are z. B. not discovered by mason bees curiously inspecting the box. As an exception, the nesting passages may then be cleaned once in autumn.
    The cleaning or boring of a nesting passage is also indicated in the cold season when the nesting passage is open in autumn and there is nesting material (clay), pollen, etc. in it: especially the attractive mason bee Osmia cornuta takes offense at protruding fibers as well as the remains of an old bee brood, so prefer fresh nesting passages or nesting aids So instead of tinkering or buying a new nesting aid every year, you should clean open nesting tunnels with a pipe cleaner or cordless screwdriver.
  • Nesting places on the ground: The enthusiasm for the protection of nature and our wild bees should not stop at nesting wood, nesting bricks and hollow stems, as these can only be used by a minority of solitary bees and wasps; also and above all the many species that nest in the ground deserve our support, for example through conservation and new planting - small as well as large - nutrient-poor and vegetation-poor slopes, steep walls, etc.

More information about all kinds of bee nesting aids is available at Wild bee protection.

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