Who doesn’t love honey? Often referred to as the ‘Nectar of the Gods,’ honey is just part of life—or at least it was. The use of pesticides has increased worldwide, and bee populations have been decimated.
Scientists at Newcastle University have discovered that when bees are exposed to the two chemicals neonicotinoids and coumaphos, their brains are affected.
“It would imply that the bees are able to forage less effectively, they are less able to find and learn and remember and then communicate to their hive mates what the good sources of pollen and nectar are,” said Dr. Sally Williamson.
Bees pollinate 70% of the 100 crop species that feed most of the world’s people. That is a massive job they do for us. Massive.
They have been helping humans for thousands of years. Without the bees, we would find it very difficult to survive.
More than 20,000 species of bees exist across the planet, however, they are rapidly declining.
They are essential as pollinators for many crops and wild plants.
There are many reasons for the demise of the honeybee, not just pesticides but also mites, diseases, climate change and loss of their habitat. It even has a name – ‘colony collapse disorder.’
Now, this is where you can help save them.
Make your very own honeybee hive!
That’s right, it won’t take you long to put together, and at very little cost.
The benefits to bees will be great, they will thank you forever. Not to mention that golden honey oozing out…
DIY Mason Jar Honey Bee Hive
Materials needed: 20 X 16″ rectangle of thick plywood
- Two 2″ X 12″ X 18” pieces of wood (front and back of hive)
- Two 2” X 12” X 22” pieces of wood (sides of beehive)
- Two 1″ X 1″ X 18” pieces of wood (front and back of top frame)
- Two 1″ X 1″ X 22” pieces of wood (sides of top frame)
- Bottom beehive kit (you can order one online from many sources)
- 12 big mouth quart canning jars (for Honeycomb)
- 1 box of 1” wood screws
- 1 can of wood stain (optional)
- Bees (of course!)
Mark out 12 evenly-spaced 3 ½” holes in the 16” X 20” plywood.
Using a hole saw, drill the holes. Test the first one with a mason jar, you want it to fit nice and tight. No mess on the top of jars is a good idea, no freeloading ants wanted here! It might pay to use a shim on the lip to keep the jars firmly in place. Remember, the jars will be heavy when the bees build their nest with combs, and they are soaked in honey!
Put the cutout plywood on the base of the beehive kit (remember you had to buy the kit?) Then screw the sides, front and back panels of the hive around the kit.
You may want to stain the wood to finish it off, but be careful not to use anything toxic.
When completely dry, sterilize the jars and position them upside down in the cutout holes. Some people put empty combs into the jars, just to help the bees along.
Make sure the new hives are not exposed to direct sunlight, we don’t want to cook them, we want to save them!
Watching these beautiful bees working away is great, and the kids will just love it. They will be the envy of their friends.
Below is a video to help inspire you.