Encouraging Native Bees with Insect Walls

by Rochelle Greayer

in Sheds and Outbuildings

honeybee on yellow flower

image from buzzy bee girl  (a great blog about bees)

Bees are on the decline, particularly honey bees.  Without bees and other pollinators, every gardener knows that plants just won’t do what they are meant to.   This summer, I noticed in my own garden the proliferation of squash blossoms that never became zucchini and pumpkins, instead languishing on the vine, unfertilized. I am inspired by insect walls and want to try my hand a creating one of these textural masterpieces.

wild native natural bee wall houses

Bee walls and bee houses can help to bring back solitary, native and stingless bees that, while they do not make honey, will provide the pollination mechanism that is needed to maintain biodiversity and healthy gardens and plants.  Reading about bees, I learned that apparently honey bees are not native to the US. (I had no idea!)

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wild bee walls bee house

These German bee houses and insect walls were found at Wildbienen (Wild Bee) which with a little google translation, provides a wealth of information about making this visually interesting garden features.   Bee houses and insect walls provide a habitat for these vital garden residents and encourage them to re-populate.

zen industrial ecological sculpture gardenbee walls solitary, native bees

Alternatively these creations by Greg Corman of Zen Industrial in Tucson, Arizona are created from salvaged materials.  Greg uses his scuplture to provide habitats for native, stingless bees (not honeybees).