Sunday, March 19, 2017

From winter to spring. The bee hotel

Hi! I'm back!

I would have loved to write you sooner, but I spend 1,5 week in a world without internet, and after that a week in a rush to catch up with work :( But here I am!

What happened? Well, together with Joost and my parents, we went to this magnificent place..

sigh...It's like a postcard!
in Salen, Sweden for a week of snow and skiing.
Oh, Sweden! I've been frequently visiting Sweden since I was about 5 years old, both for winter and summer holidays, and it never fails to amaze me. And also this year it was well worth the travel, with heaps of snow, pitch-black, starry nights, and even two moose casually hanging out near the chalet we rented for the week.

And hey, of course my suitcase was filled with thrifted goodies,  such as my shining boots ;)

my mum couldn't stop rolling her eyes whenever I wore them..
And not to forget a good bit of skiing and langlauf skiing!

I would say I'm quite a good skier, but when Joost started filming me of this really dull, flat slope, I thought I would be a *brilliant* idea to spice up his film with some of my hot skiing tricks.

So there I went...
casually crouching for the big jump... looking kind of like I know what I'm doing.. 
Ready for action and...

Oh, look! a penny!
 ... I hadn't seen the big pile of powdery snow that blocked my skies, and dived head first into the snow, making Joost pee his pants with laughter (bastard.)
 Well, luckily I thought it was pretty funny as well...

oh, the shame!!
So much for my brilliant ideas... but we had a great week!

And possibly the best way to end a beautiful week in the snow, is by driving home, and finding that spring has arrived, with daffodils waving in  our garden when we got out of the car.

Since we have never seen the house in early spring ( we first visited it in late march) the garden is a box full of surprises, with new snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses popping up every week on unexpected places.
So, as soon as I had a bit of free time at my hands this week, I started running through the garden like a little child, moving plants around, digging at random places, beginning a vegetal garden and a small pond, and of course make sure that al the birds and bees that start arriving in our garden het a warm welcome.

The birds are already accounted for with 5 (!) brand spanking new houses, but the bees can use a little roof over their furry little heads.

So one morning at 7.30, while Joost was still asleep, I started digging through my pile of scrap wood ( great thing about renovating your own house: there is always plentiful scraps of building material) to build my own...

scrap wood Bee hotel

Now, I actually managed to photograph all my materials before I started ( quite a feat, since I'm usually not that organized, especially not on Saturdays at 7.30)

I used:

- two pieces of wooden beam (4x9 cm, and about 30 cm long)
- a scrap piece of groove board for the roof
- a pole, 1,50 m

- a saw
- an electrical drill with wood drilling bit (9mm) and a screw driving bit
- wood glue
- ruler and pencil
- a few screws

 Now, you may not have all the materials that I used at hand, but don't let that stop you from making a bee hotel. If you search online for diy bee hotels, you'll find plenty of ideas to make them out of basically anything.
Bees are really important for the environment, and well.. they can use some help.

So, in case you don;t have my endless supply of scrap beams, here's some other ideas I found online:

but if you do want to make my version, here's what I did!

I began by drawing a sloped roof of both beams
bit of sawing.. ( the old fashioned way so I wouldn't wake up Joost)

And cutting both beams off at the desired length.
So far, so good!
Now it's time to drill the holes!

Joost adores waking up to the sound of a drill, I assure you (uhh..) 
using my ruler to determine where to drill...
I took a wild guess about how far the holes should be apart from each other, I don't think homeless bees are very specific about that..
and taping my drill at the desired length so I would drill straight through my beam.

many holes!
Using a bit of sanding paper or something alike to clean up the holes might be a good idea.

glueing the parts together..

By now, the bees would probably already be quite glad with their new digs, but I think they deserve a bit more luxury, so out of my scrap piece of groove board, I cut two pieces to form a roof, and a small  landing space, attaching it with some screws and wood glue.

like so!
And added a small fence, because a modern, home-dwelling bee needs a fence, doesn't she?

I don;t know what form but I'm sure bees need it. Very much. 

I attached the bee hotel to the pole, and that was it!

here it is! 

now all that's left to do, is waiting for the bees to arrive. 

And the thousand other things that need to be done in the garden right now, of course..  such as cutting down two trees that were endangering the walls of our house..

I'm sergeant rope-holder now!
Being oh so responsible while my dad bravely cuts down the tree. (yes, he's a hero!)
Ah, where would I be without my busy family?

Luckily, not all members of the family were running around like we were...

let me watch this tree for you, human.  
So, so much for catching up with you, I'll be back soon!


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