Top critical review
65 people found this helpful
Nice visual design with some functional flaws
on April 12, 2012
I bought this bee house a couple years ago because I really liked the way it looks. The variety of diameter of the bamboo was attractive because it will accommodate many different species (about 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch range internal diameter). Native bees come in many sizes and I wanted to provide homes for more than just mason bees. I also liked that it would be fairly easy to remove the bamboo after the nesting season and replace with new, clean bamboo. There were no bent corners or broken bamboo.
1) Bees like a sturdy home, so the house shouldn't be hung by the built-in wire.
2) The roof isn't long enough to protect the tube entrances from rain.
3) The bamboo isn't cut precisely so some of them have the dividing node closer to the entrance instead of at the rear. You can see this on the item photo with some tubes being closed at the front. Some of the bamboo tubes have no nodes (you can see all the way through them). Bees prefer to have one end closed.
4) The tubes are only about 4 inches long. This is a good length for holes less than 1/4" in diameter. But for holes 1/4" and bigger, the bees need 6" in length.
It is interesting to note that after hanging the house up (using the wire hanger) for one year near my pollinator garden, I had no resident bees. I took the house down and left it on a patio table to remind me to clean it and make necessary modifications. Within a week, there was a carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) nesting in one of the largest tubes. I am quite surprised that she is using such a short tunnel and picked the bamboo over the timbers on my deck! She spent several days creating a pile of sawdust by making her own modifications to the inside of the tube. I have seen evidence that she is now packing it with pollen.
This bee house will work with modification. It will be best if you have a sturdy platform for it and a covered area to protect it from rain.