Are used bee boxes good for shelves and attracting bees? I am either making a huge mistake or I am brilliant? Can an idea be both clever and dumb? Early January, while it was still cold out, I was trying to figure out a way to protect my succulents from the frost, but not spend money on new shelving, or have them piled up on the deck taking up valuable space. I came up with the brilliant idea of using my unused bee supers as shelving. I didn’t even have to drill any holes in the boxes because I hung them up on the hooks that were already on the wall. BRILLIANT! OH HOW CUTE!!! It looks adorable right?? Yes.. it does.
It worked beautifully and I patted myself on the back every time I went out there to close the shades on the nights there was a freeze warning.
For the past week or so we have been having unusually hot weather. It’s February and the temperatures have been in the high 60’s. Today it will be in the 70’s. Not at all what one would expect in the middle of Winter. Yesterday It occurred to me that with this unusually hot weather, the bees might get the idea to push swarm season up a bit. To better my chances of catching a swarm this year I would need to clean up the swarm traps I have on a trellis in the side yard. They are still there from last year. Mainly because I was too lazy to bring them down. Last year I didn’t see any swarms at all. The year before, when I still had two colonies in my backyard, I had 13 or 14 swarms land in my yard, as well as my neighbors yards. Some of my neighbors were thrilled, some…not so much. Unfortunately because of all the fires and smoke we had here in California, we lost all of our bees.
My partner in crime, Rachael, and I decided that a year off from beekeeping would be best. We were both pretty disheartened and just didn’t have the energy to start all over again. I am almost certain we weren’t attractive to swarms because we no longer have the other hives in the yard. Other than putting lemon grass oil on the bait boxes, I didn’t know how I was going to attract scout bees to the bait boxes. That was until yesterday when I went onto the deck in the late afternoon. I sat on the couch admiring my shelves when it hit me.
Well.. it hit my nose. The sun was beating down on the bee box shelves and the smell of old used bee boxes was intoxicating. As you can see in the picture above the sun is shining on two of the boxes. In a few hours all three will be baking in the sun. How could a bee resist that smell??? I am truly hoping they can’t. Is there a chance that my deck will be filled with bees? I SURE HOPE SO!!!! Will it be a hot mess for me to deal with? Probably. Bees do poop a lot. But it will be worth it!!
Off I go to get my bait boxes ready! Wish me luck!