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Setting up your wild bee home is very easy, though there are some things that can help increase your odds of successfully attracting bees to live inside. The main thing to keep in mind is that wild bees are, in fact, wild, and do not follow a consistent set of behaviours between species and geographies. Your level of success will also depend on the the local environment and the types of flowering plants that are available nearby, so you may need to do some trial and error before you have success.

Where To Mount Your Bee House

Although nobody has done a systematic study on the factors that maximize the odds of success in attracting cavity nesting bees to your bee house, we do have some anecdotal experience from the City Cavity Nesters project that took place in urban yards in both Ottawa and Toronto, along with nearly two decades of research on cavity nesting bees at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado.

In our experience, we have found that bees seem to have an easier time finding nesting sites when they are attached to a larger wooden structure such as a fence, patio, shed or even a tree compared to a standalone stake. That being said, if this is not an option for you, don't worry: we have also had success mounting them in the middle of a yard on a stand and even as high up as the 7th story balcony on a condo, though your mileage may vary.

Since solitary bees need some external heat to get moving (they can create some themselves, but depend heavily on other sources), they use the sun to warm themselves up in the morning so that they can fly. This may also contribute to their preference for a nesting site, so we recommend putting your home in a location that gets morning sun, with the front of the home facing toward the sun in the East. In colder regions of North America, you may find that they prefer to have sun on them most of the day, while in hotter regions, they may look for nesting sites that are shaded during the warmest part of the day. The key is to put your bee home somewhere that you think will work, and if it doesn't, try a different placement until it does.

How to Mount Your Scopa Wild Bee Home

The rest of this guide will focus specifically on the bee homes that we make here at Scopa. We offer two ways of mounting our homes - the standard mount, and the garden stand - and we'll cover both here.

Mounting Your Home with the Standard Mount

As covered above, the first thing you want to do is select a suitable site to place your home. In this case, we'll be attaching it to a fence, though the approach is the same if you are using an existing wooden post, building or tree. 

You'll start by figuring out which direction you'd like to mount your home. Here we'll be mounting it so that the front opening of the home faces East so that we get the morning sun. Since we're in a colder climate here in Ottawa, we also have it placed in a location where it will get direct sunlight for most of the day.

Next you'll loosen the screw on the mount and rotate it so that it is positioned correctly to mount the home in the direction you want.

You'll then re-tighten the screw so that the mount will no longer swivel.

Finally, you'll screw in the decking screws until the home is securely fastened to the fence. There may be a small gap between the mount and the fence initially, but as you finish tightening the screws, this gap will close up. Once it has closed and the screws are hand-tight, you are done. Be careful not to over-tighten the screws or you risk driving them through the wood.

That's it! Your bee home is now mounted and you’re ready for bees to arrive.

Mounting Your Home with the Garden Stand

To use the garden stand, you first have to remove the mount from the bottom of the home. Once this is done, you will see a hole on the bottom that is threaded for a 1/4-bolt.

The top of the garden stand uses a hanger bolt that can be screwed directly into the hole. You will simply turn the entire post in the hole until it tightens up to the base. 

Nest you'll push the ground spike into the earth where you want to place your home. If your ground is especially firm, you may have to use a rubber mallet or a hammer and a block of wood to force it into the ground.

Once the ground stake is securely in place, the post can slide directly over top of it, and you can rotate it to orient it in the direction that you like.

That's all there is to it!


If you have any questions or about this or anything else related to native bees or our bee homes, feel free to reach out to us by email or our contact forms using the links in the menu above.

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