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Bamboo for Beneficials

November 6th, 2009

I like to use bamboo stakes in the garden because they’re sturdy and they look nice. I also like to use them because the small solitary bees use them for their nests. I was noticing when taking down all of my plant stakes that almost all of them were filled with all sizes of beneficial solitary bees (probably some of those I saw on the last queen anne’s lace the other day).
I think it’s interesting how many different kinds of solitary bees there are. Some of these stakes are plugged with mud, others are filled with bits of leaves. They also like all different sizes of stakes, I assume for all the different sizes of bees. There’s no need to buy those expensive little solitary bee houses when you use bamboo stakes
This jewel wasp is one the beneficials that’s using the bamboo, I’ve seen them coming and going from the stakes.
I think this might be a sand wasp, but I’m not positive. It might be using the bamboo stakes as well.
It’s quite fascinating really, the way nature works. The more I garden organically, the greater the variety of insects I see flitting about the garden and these little solitary bees are no exception. With the number of bamboo stake I use (over 100) I’ll have plenty of pollinators in the spring! This is a great way to attract solitary bees and wasps to your garden and they’ll pollinate your crops beautifully.

Do you do anything special to attract solitary bees or other pollinators?

14 Comments to “Bamboo for Beneficials”
  1. Christine on November 6, 2009 at 6:41 am

    I wonder if any will come hang out in our bamboo stakes. We don’t have very many pollinators just yet, and are toying with the idea of getting bees (the homeowners are a little worried about the three-year-old next door getting into them).
    It’s great to see so many insects flitting around your garden.
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Priming the chicken coop =-.

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  2. nic @ nipitinthebud on November 6, 2009 at 7:02 am

    the bamboo canes were very popular with the ladybirds this year
    very few flying insects around now that it’s properly cold and wet in England. It was very warm and sunny throughout September and I left the lettuces and pak choi that had flowered in for the bees (in fact they’re still in because of the colour they add to the otherwise bare plot at this time of year)

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  3. pam on November 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Do you grow your bamboo?
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Collard Greens Miniera =-.

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    • Susy on November 6, 2009 at 9:23 am

      I don’t but Kristin from Growing Country (below) does. I keep meaning to ask her what kind she grows. I’m not sure I’d have room for it here, but it’s something I keep wanting to look into.

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  4. kristin @ going country on November 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Huh. I never even knew the bamboo had any other benefit other than being a free source of stakes for us. Cool.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..One More Nasty Chore =-.

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    • Susy on November 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

      I didn’t either until this spring when I noticed them burrowing into it. I’m happy to do anything for the little pollinators since they bring wonderful harvests to my table. I’ll be putting the stakes in the garage over the winter and bringing them back out in the spring for the bees to emerge.

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  5. Dave on November 6, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I noticed those jewel wasps for the first time this year. They were everywhere. The bamboo would make good mason bee homes just saw off the sections and tie them in bunches. I don’t do anything special other than plant flowering plants all over. We have beneficial bugs all over the place!
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Free Stuff Friday! (Organic Bug Killer Giveaway) =-.

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  6. Daphne on November 6, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I didn’t even look into my bamboo poles when I took them down. I just knocked the dirt off the bottom and put them in the garage for the winter.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..On Greed =-.

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  7. Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife on November 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    We used bamboo stakes for our pole beans for the first time this year, and to be honest, I didn’t pay any attention to who else was using them. My husband however cut a few short pieces from a spare cane and glued them together side-to-side specifically to attract solitary bees and wasps. They were filled and sealed in no time flat. He also took a block of wood and drilled it full of holes of different diameters. That filled up very quickly as well. We ceded part of our vegetable garden to flowers planted specifically planted to attract pollinators, which they did very well.
    .-= Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife´s last blog ..Chicken Breeds =-.

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  8. rachel on November 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I found some large branches on the side of the road from a dead tree a neighbor had cut down. We cut most of it for firewood, but saved some which I drilled holes in and put in the garden. It really does attract the bees! This year I’m going to make more and put them all over the yard.
    .-= rachel´s last blog ..Fall planting =-.

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  9. MAYBELLINE on November 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I don’t know what kind of bee it is; but when I clean my windows (and I do that regularly – I’m a freak.) there is strands of petals stuffed in crevices of my complicated windows. It’s like finding a core of confetti. The bees must be attracted initially by all the blosoms in the garden and hang around to decorate my windows.

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  10. Dan on November 6, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Our house is brick and is close to a century old so there is lots of tiny holes around. I see solitary bee’s nesting in them every year and they are very interesting to watch. It so cool how they keep bringing material to make the chambers and then cap the hole with a little piece of leaf.

    So how the fermenting doing, inquiring minds want to know :-) I’m still waiting on my fermentor to arrive. When it does the cider will be brewing right away. Maybe some ale once it is done too….
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Fall Crops Update Part III =-.

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    • Susy on November 6, 2009 at 11:50 pm

      The cider is still bubbling away. I think in another week or two it will be finished. Our house is pretty cool so it takes a littler longer.

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  11. annie avery on November 7, 2009 at 8:39 am

    i saw one of those bees for my first time this year. i was digging a bed for wormwood, and he had been in the soil. very nice, yes.. i am always reassured when i see creatures that are new to me. this spring i saw a porcupine saunter across the yard. he has not re-appeared, but i know he’s in the woods.. i have a pup and he very likely wants nothing to do with domestic animals. i loved his indifference.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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