Enhancing Habitat & Drilling, Drilling, Drilling

The seeds we’ve collected from native plants have been planted so know we can focus on the insect habitats and bee nest box structure.

Chinese Mantid on a log

Chinese Mantid checking out the new insect habitat structure at Cherry Creek… and we’re just getting started

The first structure we’re building is made from pallets, pavers and a variety of natural materials.  MJ took several photos so we’ll see if we can get those posted. MJ and I filled the first layer with pine cones, goldenrod stems, dried milkweed pods, bark and cattails. The next layer has several logs with holes drilled in them, prairie hay, more pine cones, sticks and well… this is where we’ve quickly learned that we need to collect a lot more materials to fill such a grand structure. We hope to make it four pallets high before winter arrives.  So off to collect more materials. Funny, how you start eyeballing other people’s yard waste set out for curbside recycling.

houses for native bees

Some of the scrap lumber being cut & drilled to create native bee nesting blocks. We’re doing the same with logs

The Native Bee Nest Box structure is also a work in progress. We went to a surplus area and found a great table and bookcase made of solid wood. The wood will be treated with natural preservatives, but it is meant to be outdoors so that’s where it is headed. The bookshelf will be screwed into the top of the table. This is the housing for the bee nest boxes. I’ve been collecting scrap lumber and logs.  There has been a lot of sawing, drilling and sanding. Each piece of lumber has 1/4″, 3/18″ or 5/18″ holes drilled in it – varying from 3-6″ deep. The pvc pipe sections will hold phragmites and bamboo tubes. In addition to scrap lumber, natural logs will fill in the gaps.

Lots of work to do before winter sets in…

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!


First layer of insect hotel, filling pallet with pine cones and plant material.

First layer of insect hotel, filling pallet with pine cones and plant material.

Building insect hotel.  Filling layers as we add pallets.

Building insect hotel. Filling layers as we add pallets.

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

About Soni Cochran

Mother, Wife, Grandma! I am an extension associate with the Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. I work with urban pests and wildlife, youth programs and manage the office web site at http://lancaster.unl.edu. My degree is in education and I taught in rural public schools in Nebraska before coming to Nebraska Extension - UNL. I am Deputy Commander of the 155th Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol in Lincoln - my focus is on public affairs, disaster relief and emergency services. Great organization of adults/teens serving this nation. Love my family, jobs, and sharing my love of nature and the outdoors with anyone who will listen.

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