Just over a week ago we found a second disabled bee - "Big Little Bee" as we are calling him. We added BLB to the same tub as Holly, but within 48 hours we soon realised this was a bit small and together they were causing chaos, going from this:
pretty quickly. And although after 24 hours they were co-habiting amiably, they were still disrupting each other a lot, walking over one another while the other was sleeping, shoving each other around. Not to mention the fact they were not getting true darkness in the way they would be if nesting underground; is it really fair to expect to adhere to our human cycle?
So, we had the idea of migrating both bees to a much larger tub - large enough, in fact, to include the entire wooden nestbox that was now redundant in the front garden. The plan was also to include some real flowers/plants, e.g. lavender, so that they could get as close to a natural experience as ever. So, the design of the box was as follows:
- A layer of stone to stablise the box and provide a foundation to embed plant pots and slightly sink the nestbox to prevent the bees going underneath it
- A layer of "fake grass" over the stone to protect the bees - made from hanging basket liner.
- real lavender
- pine cones to climb over (and as it turns out, rest under)
- some tubing to climb through and rest in
- daisys to carry honey-water (as previously)
- "flower-tower" and "flower-mountain" (also to carry honey water as previously)
- White LED lighting strip to provide additional "sunlight"
- HD USB webcam for local monitoring and remote monitoring over skype
- The original nestbox from outside, complete with 2 internal infra-red cameras
Here are some pictures of the setup: