Bees improve flower pollination and boost the productivity of fruit and vegetable plants. Welcome bees to your yard by giving them a place to live.
Solitary bees are excellent pollinators, but they can struggle to find nesting sites. A home-made nest looks attractive and provides them with a home, as well as ensuring bumper harvests.
When to Start: Summer
At Its Best: Autumn to winter
Time to Complete: 30 minutes
Use sharp clippers to cut short lengths of bamboo canes that will fit into your pot. The natural variation in diameter will attract different bee species.
Fill the base of a terra-cotta pot with modeling clay and push the cut bamboo canes firmly into it. Continue doing this until the pot is packed tightly.
Tie raffia or string firmly around the pot and suspend it from a hook or attach it to a wall. Choose a sheltered, sunny site, and angle the open end of the pot downward so that the bamboo canes do not fill up with water when it rains.
To make life even better for your resident bees, position the nest close to nectar-rich flowers. They will then have only a short distance to travel for food, which will be a great help to them in spring.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010