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The thing about small cavities in wood is that they appeal to many types of insects and even some arachnids - most commonly earwigs, ants and various spiders. While we don't have anything against these other animals, we want to make our bee homes as welcoming to solitary bees and wasps as possible.

If bees find someone else at home in what would otherwise be a great nesting location, they'll often choose not to move in. Worse still, they'll sometimes even abandon a nest in progress if they find another critter in there when they come home, leaving their developing eggs at risk of being eaten in an unsealed nest.

So, how do you keep your bee home fit for bees? Simple: don't let them reach it!

The best thing you can do is isolate it from crawling insects with a sticky barrier that they don't want to cross. With our two mounting options, any crawling insect that wants to reach the bee blocks needs to either climb up the post, or go across the wooden mount to reach the home itself.

We can take advantage of this fact by putting a barrier in the way to make that impossible for them. For this, we recommend a product called Protek Trunk Insect Barrier that is non-toxic to insects, and is made of natural gum resins, wax and vegetable oil. We find that it strikes the right balance between being sticky enough that insects don't want to cross it, but not so sticky that it's a pain to clean up when it's time to replenish it.

To use it with our bee homes, there are two options depending on whether you are using our standard mount or the garden stand.

Garden Stand

While you can apply Protek directly to your garden stand, you may find on hot days that it quickly makes a mess. This is why we made a garden stand extension that has a moat to capture any that drips down the side. To install, you simply screw it on top of your existing garden stand:

Earwig, Ant (And Other Crawling Insect) Barriers - Scopa

Then screw your home back on top, and apply Protek to the upper part. You'll want to cover the entire upper section with Protek to create a barrier that is at least a couple of inches wide. Initially, it may not look the best as it's challenging to spread evenly, but you'll find that over time it'll smooth out once it's exposed to the warm air.

Bee Hotel Earwig, Ant (And Other Crawling Insect) Barriers - Scopa

If you notice that the moat begins to fill up with Protek over time, you can scoop it out with a small object like a Q-tip and reapply it to the upper portion.

Lastly, make sure that the stand is placed in a location where branches from any surrounding plants aren't touching the home itself, as this would provide an alternative route for them get reach the bee blocks.

Standard Mount

If you're using our standard mount, we have a replacement that is extra long to give you plenty of room to apply the Protek.

Earwig, Ant (And Other Crawling Insect) Barriers - Scopa

To use our insect barrier mount, start by removing your existing one:

After you've attached the extended mount, wrap the part nearest the mounting screws with the provided clear outdoor tape. This prevents the Protek from getting in the screw holes, which would be a pain to clean out. Finally, apply the Protek on all sides of the tape, including the bottom:

Then you simply need to re-mount your home. Finally, if there are any plants nearby, make sure to trim them back so that they can't be used as an alternative route for crawling insects to reach your home.

Re-Application

If you live in an area that get's especially hot, you may find that the Protek will drip down the face of the garden stand mount, or around all the sides of the standard mount. As a result, the barier will be come quite thin in places, as shown below.

Osmo Finishes - Scopa

When this happens, you'll need to use the applicator to move the excess back onto the areas that have thinned, or apply more to those areas. Otherwise, the barrier will be thin enough that insects will be able to walk over it.

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