On a whim, we purchased two bee hotels from Costco. We sealed the roof of each house with just a simple outdoor furniture oil from Home Depot.
Unsure if any bees will take residence this year, the paper wasps sure have taken notice.
They built a nest in the top area almost as soon as we had it hung up. Because paper wasps (Polistes dominula) is a pollinator as well, we haven’t taken measures to try and stop them. My only concern there is that next year (or perhaps later this year), because the hotel is hung off of our deck, that if the paper wasps might expand, building satellite nests perhaps in our frequently used areas.
I’m also not sure if because the wasps inhabit the space, wild bees might be deterred from settling down in the neighborhood.
We added a smaller metal mesh over the bamboo filled cubbies to hopefully deter birds from trying to peck or steal any larva that may get laid there by wild bees. The house hangs facing south for warmth and good sun exposure.
With the exception of honey bees and bumblebees, the rest of the Colorado bee species are solitary bees. There are approximately 950 varieties of bees in Colorado alone. Put up a bee hotel somewhere near your house and watch what happens!
We’ll see! Just another experiment!