The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams - Henry David Thoreau -
types of bees have different habitats. All children know that Pooh Bear likes
honey and are happy to recall the story in which he tried to reach a bee's nest
in the top of a tree.
A tree is
the natural nest site for the European honey bee. A hollow tree provides a dry,
dark, cavity with a wooden roof on which the bees can fix their combs. The nest
site is protected from rain and wind, with some insulation, although honey bees
have such a good air conditioning system that insulation need only be minimal.
entrance helps guard bees defend the entrance against wasps and alien honey
bees that might want to steal honey.
also need a supply of water in the spring for diluting honey stores and in the
summer for cooling the nest. The beekeeper provides an artificial habitat in
which he tries to meet these criteria. However, he also imposes restrictions,
which help him to look after the bees and take some honey without harming the
will thrive in areas where there is good forage throughout their active season,
so a hive needs a range of nectar-producing flowers within a radius of about
2-3 km (1 - 1.5 miles).
gardeners are providing artificial habitats for some solitary bees to encourage
them to nest near their crops or they may even move them to the crops to
promote pollination. This manipulation of habitat is where science and
technology meet to benefit both the human and the natural world. Such nesting
boxes would be an interesting addition to a school nature garden.