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How to clean " solitary " bee box tubes

I drilled some holes into blocks and the bees have been using them for 3 years now.

I think I should use a bit of wire and them cleanse just in warm water and dry thoroughly.

Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.


  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,813
    Thank you for the suggestion.

    Have you used them and are they good please.?
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,017
    Surely if the hole is packed there's a critter evolving in there and when it emerges it will take it's crud with it, mostly.   Any subsequent bee who goes there to lay a new egg will clean it out, lay and seal. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • garyd52garyd52 Posts: 51
    Our species has lost all of it's once close relationship with nature and we now think like machines , show me a bottle brush disinfectants cleaning materials etc in the natural world , the Bees know how to clean and do it without all the harmful chemicals that we now rely on to make our homes bright and shiny and the undertakers very happy men .
  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    Or if you keep chickens. We've lost a lot of birds and bees. We don't want to lose more because we are spreading parasites. 

    For cleaning bee nests, soap and water seems to be fine.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,813
    garyd52   Totally agree but thats a separate discussion.. Hotel page V4 Nov 2015.pdf

    Within this article it recommends replacing the blocks of wood with the tubes in every two years so thats what I have done today.

    Thanks for your input friends.
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    A very useful document. Thanks @NewBoy2 . I like the idea of marking the tunnels that are recently occupied. I currently am foxed by which cells are new and which failed. I guess we get to learn these things over time.

    I currently have a preference for dismantlable nest boxes that can be cleaned out and examined. I have many drilled logs which haven't been as popular and I have no idea what is going on inside. To replace those logs every two years would be quite a big deal for me currently.

    It's a good learning curve.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,813
    On our allotment where i have the bee boxes there are two Mums that I know well and their children...3 girls.. came to watch the tadpoles in the pond and asked what the bee boxes were.

    In these Odd Times the looks of wonder on their faces when I was explaining stuff was wonderful.

    One had 4 teeth missing at the front and had a lovely lisp and when I told her a bit she stopped and stared into space to take in the info.

    Quite a wet eye moment for me.  <3
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    I had that with some neighbours' little children this morning. They were asking what the tulips were. I said that you put a bulb in the ground in the autumn and then in the spring they come up as a big red flower - and there was disbelief and amazement in their eyes, like they had never heard such a wild idea. They smelled some wall flowers and some salvia leaves. I wanted to give them a big hug and it was so sad not to be able to yet. One four year old calls all flowers daffodils because that is what she remembers and mostly, it's close enough for now.


  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    George Pilkington is responsible for a lot of the UK research into solitary bee behaviour. He produces bee nesting boxes and seems quite and white about what will and will not work. These are his instructions for cleaning, storing cocoons etc. I have his boxes (among others) and will try and follow his advice.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,813
    Thank you Fire.

    Are you a bee keeper or do you have boxes.

    I have a pond and there is a small pier of pebbles in the water at the ponds edge that the solos come to gather water.

    I added more water to the pond and the pier was submerged so i have had to male another one about 6 inches away but the bees cant work it out.

    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
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