Friday, March 5, 2010

Tunnel Nests for Native Bees

In our efforts to foster populations of pollinators wherever we live, we often consult the Xerces Society for helpful hints and background information. From the publication Tunnel Nests for Native Bees we got the inspiration for making a couple of tunnel nests. We used Giant Cane (Arundo donax) for the tunnels and some twine to bind them together. Only use Arundo donax if you are aware of precautions to take to prevent its spread by vegetative reproduction (which is does with great vigor - making it a problem invasive exotic).

We consulted the Xerces Societies' document for detailed instructions and suggested materials and then simply did this:

Gathered some hollow cane stems:

Removed the leaves by twisting them off:

Here they are with leaves removed:

Determined appropriate lengths (around 8 inches):

Cut one end at a node (swollen area where a new leaf emerges)... that one end of each tunnel retains the natural material blocking it closed:

Cut the other end for desired length:

Chased the tunnel with an appropriately-sized tool (phillips screwdriver in this case) to make sure it is clear of obstructions, being careful to keep the one end's natural blockage intact:

One tunnel ready to go. We prepared about 5 or 6 per bundle:

We tied them together with twine (all open end in same direction):

And that's all there was too it!:

Open-end view:

We then attach the nests to somewhat protected areas with open ends facing south or southwest:

And are now waiting for native bees to find them...


  1. Very cool! Great tutorial:) You'll have to take some pics when the bees move in. . .

  2. Good job guys. Very creative. Hope they find it and pollinate your veggies.


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