Basic Construction of a Bee, Bug, or Seed Gourd House
As summer slips into those first cool days of autumn, it is time for me to prepare my flower gardens for the winter months ahead. The gourd bird houses that I made last spring need to be cleaned and checked for needed repairs, the fallen leaves needed to be raked and moved to the compose pile, and its time to harvest the flower seeds for next year’s plantings. This portion of the project focuses on the Basic Construction of your house, the second portion teaches how to add Roof Accents to your Bee House, and then you will want to visit our Bee House Gallery of ideas.
This year I am adding a new little project to my autumn list – Bee Houses! My region has lost most of its honey bee and other insect populations because of the intensive use of pesticides and herbicides. More and more I depend on our native wild bee population to pollinate my gardens. There are several excellent articles on the net for creating wild bee homes, that offer other, fun ideas that you can do along with this Nest Egg Gourd Bee House project.
The original idea behind this project was to make a few simple, quick bee and bug houses that I could place throughout my garden as winter nests – miniature bird houses. I wanted them to be as biodegradable, eco-friendly as possible, so I chose to use some of my thinner shelled, small craft gourds and dried plant materials from my yard for accents.
As I worked, this project took on a life of its own! What were to be quick, easy gourd houses soon became fun, decorated Autumn ornaments for my door wreaths, Christmas ornaments as gifts, and even several Seed Houses which contain the flower seeds from my garden that I want to share with my family and friends.
This project goes so fast – about 20 minutes for a nest egg gourd house and one-half hour for a small bottle gourd – you can quickly make enough for your own garden and to give away as gifts. To add a simple 90 degree, flat roof to my dried craft gourd I begin this free Bee House Project by cutting the top edge of the gourd and removing the stem area. This section of our free Bee House Gourd project focuses on the basic construction steps. In the following sections we will look at adding the roof decorations, creating seed houses, and adding the hanging wirel
If you are a wood carver try this roof technique on your basswood carving eggs. Use your bench knife and straight chisel to cut the flat sides of the roof line in your wood, carve the remaining portion of the basswood egg, then have fun adding a decorative, natural accents roof. This flat roof technique is perfect for paper mache eggs that you can decoupage. Even real turkey and goose eggs can be cut to receive a decorated roof bee house.
Small, dried bottle gourd – 4″ tall x 3″ wide
Craft-paper colored scrapbook paper
Bamboo kitchen skewers
Craft knife, exacto knife, or bench knife
Hot glue gun