You Can Help Save the Bee Population with This Adorable Bee House From Costco
Bees are more important to the environment than most people realize. There are a lot more to bees than just their delicious honey. They pollinate 90% of the world’s plants by transferring pollen from one plant or flower to another. The average honeybee can visit up to 2,000 flowers in one day! But sadly, despite how essential honeybees are to our ecosystem, their populations have declined over the last 60 years. In 1947, there were 6 million colonies (beehives), but by 1970 there were only 4 million hives, then 3 million in 1990, and now just 2.5 million today.
Many people are working to find ways to help protect the beehives that are currently in existence. Now you can help do you part from your backyard! Costco sells a Mason Bee Barn that is hand-crafted from solid pine wood and bamboo. It is sealed with a non-toxic, water-based finish. The house attracts non-stinging native bees that aren’t aggressive, so you won’t need to worry if you have small children in your house that are curious. These little bees should all be friendly!
Don’t expect honeybees to take home here, however. These will be native bees that are not part of a colony or swarm. Their sole purpose is pollination, which is an important job for them! The purpose of this is to attract a native female bee who will establish this as her home and lay eggs. According to Costco’s website, she will fill the tubes with nourishment, then seal off the entrance to let her young grow safely. The female bee only has a life span of a single season, so her young will become the next pollinators. You can anticipate a beautiful garden that season!
If you plan to get this native bee house, there are specific instructions to follow when putting it in your yard.
1. Place in your garden or hang 5 to 7 ft. (1.524 to 2.134 m) high on a wall or fence that gets morning sunlight, under an overhang if possible.
2. Plant native plants and flowers nearby to draw these super-pollinating bees to the bee house. It’s very important for the native bees to have a food source for their young.
3. Create a moist patch of soil near the bee house to have mud to protect their young.
4. In autumn, store the bee house (with cocooned larvae inside) in an outdoor shed or covered location for winter.
5. Do not store inside your house.
6. In early spring, return the house to the original location.
7. Once new bees hatch, clean out nest tubes and trays with pipe cleaners for next season’s offspring
You can order this off of Costco’s website for $32.99. You can also check out your local Costco to see if it is sold in stores for a cheaper price.
Did you know there are 20,000 species of bees? The most common type is the honeybee, but only a few species of bees actually produce honey. If you ever have a hive or swarm in/near your home, do your research and contact a professional to ensure the safety of the bees and yourself.