Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Home for Bees {or birds} (Summer Craft Kit 2013)



Home Sweet Home Little Bees!
I have been obsessing over a way to incorporate a home for bees into my craft kits for the past couple years. I first saw a bee house made out of bamboo which would have been great when we were living on the east coast and our backyard was being taken over with bamboo. Here in the Rocky Mountains though, not so much. Then I saw some made with paper straws but when I looked up paper straws they were quite expensive. I was oh so very excited when I stumbled upon making a bee house using newspaper rolled up with parchment paper on the inside. I found the original idea from Cherie Kuranko on Bukisa and then added to it so it had a roof and post.
This is definitely a multi-step project but it is so worth it! There really isn't much to it but it is just a bit tedious to explain the instructions. The pics below the written instructions may help a bit.
This is my favorite craft of the Summer Craft Kits for 2013!

*If bees aren’t your thing you can make it into a bird house by eliminating steps 1-10 (basically it will be just an empty tin can but everything else. Before making your decision though, you should watch “Vanishing of the Bees” or read some of the bee books! They are amazing little creatures!

This is a great teamwork project and your kiddo will probably need your help throughout ~ have fun!

*This is in the Summer Craft Kit 2013 - click here to see the other crafts in the kit or
here to purchase a kit on my Rocky Mountain Mommas etsy shop!
Enjoy this single stem idea of Bee Home for
Seedlings (preschool and elementary age)...
 
The Stuff
The FUN!
Tin can

Newspaper

Parchment paper (about 12 inches)

Pencil

Tape

Paper towel tube (or 2 TP tubes)

Scissors

Moss

Wood (2 roof pieces, 1 post - I used a 6" fence post for the roof and a 4" fence post for the post)

4 outdoor screws (or 6 if you do the post that attaches on a fence or shed)
Screwdriver

Paint and paint brush (not washable)

Hemp rope or string (2 pieces about 20 inches in length)*Drill and drill bit the size of your screws and hemp rope (only if you need to do the prep)
 
PREP (This is what I have prepped for the Summer Craft Kits 2013. If you don't have a craft kit, prep these items and then follow the instructions below. If you do have a craft kit start on Step 1).

Prep A - Have one sheet of newspaper folded on the left. Cut it in half along the crease in the middle. Do this 4 times to have 8 half sheets.
Prep B - Fold the parchment paper in half 3 times so you have 8 pieces when you cut on the folds).
Prep C - Cut a 6 inch fence post 6 inches long. Do this twice. Look at the pic below to see where to drill holes. The holes on the back by the A and B in the pic is easiest to drill once the roof is screwed together and ready to attach to the post.
Prep D - Cut a 4 inch fence post or whatever scrap wood you have for the post. I cut the posts to stick in the ground 2 feet long and the posts that screw into a roof or shed about 1 foot long. It is easiest to drill these holes once the roof is put together and you can place the roof along the post and drill through both. See pics below.
*NOTE - If you are making multiple Bee homes you can drill holes and put together for one and then take apart and use as a template.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1.      Lay out your newspaper keeping the fold on the left.
2.      Cut on the folds in the parchment paper so that you have 8 long pieces.
3.      Tape a piece of parchment paper so it covers the bottom inch of the newspaper. One piece of tape is fine – just enough to hold it in place.
4.      Put the pencil down at the bottom edge and begin to roll. This will make the parchment paper in the inside. Roll up all of the way, tightening as you go.
5.      Tape the newspaper so it doesn’t unroll. We used 3 pieces. As Hornet (fitting nickname for my oldest that I did this craft with) was rolling I would get 3 pieces of tape ready. I would put the middle one on as he held and then he would do the end pieces.
6.      Tap the pencil out.
7.      Find the center and bend in half. Tape with two pieces so it holds together in half.
8.      Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 newspapers.
9.      Cut tube so that you have 2 tubes the length of the tin can.
10.  Cut folded newspaper rolls so that they are the length of the tubes. Cut the end where the holes are and NOT where the fold is.
11.  Put 4 newspaper rolls in each tube so that you can see 8 holes in each tube. It will be tight.
12.  Put tubes in tin can.
13.  With the pencil, push moss between the edges of the paper tubes and the tin can. Bee nest is done and now for their roof and post!
Boards A and B are marked at the back of the boards (keep the A and B at the back when you assemble).
14.  Use 2 screws to attach the roof together. Screw into the holes at the top of board A. Screw the screws in so they are just barely poking out the other side and then hold board B so the holes line up with the screws. Push together as kiddo screws them in. This works best with teamwork and one person holding while the other screws in.
15.  Use 2 screws to attach the post to the roof. Like before with the roof, screw in the screws so they are just barely poking through the post from back to front. Line up the holes in the roof and continue to screw in the rest of the way.
16.  Time for paint! Put on a paint shirt and paint the roof and post so that is attractive to the bees! Let dry.
17.  Attach tin can to roof. Push ends of hemp rope up through the roof so that the hemp rope hangs in a U-shape. Do this to both pieces of rope. Now slide tin can between rope and roof. Pull up on rope and tie the two ends in a good knot. Trim the ends.
18.  Dig a hole (about 6 inches) and push bee home into it. Pack dirt around post. Alternatively you can screw into a fence or on a shed.
Stand back and look at how cool it looks!

Now the PICTURES (for the visual learners)...
PREP for those without a Craft Kit
PREP A - Cut newspaper in half along the middle fold.

PREP B - Fold parchment paper in half 3 times for 8 strips.

PREP C -
Drill 5 holes in board A:
Two on the top to screw into board B.
Two in the middle to lace the rope through to hold the can.
One on the back to screw into post (wait on this until roof is assembled)
Drill 5 holes in board B.
Two on the top where board A attaches to it (you can't see these in the pic -
line up the boards to form a roof and then screw down through the holes in A into thetop of B)
Two in the middle to lace the rope through to hold the can.
One on the back to screw into post (wait until roof is assembled)

PREP D - Drill 2 holes in the post for in the ground or 4 holes for on a fence/post.
 INSTRUCTIONS (for all):
Cut on the folds of the parchment paper so you have 8 long pieces.

Lay out the paper with the fold on the left.
Tape a piece of 1 -2 inches wide parchment paper so it covers the bottom of the newspaper.
Put a pencil or 5/8in dowel at the bottom edge.

Roll up the newspaper on the pencil/dowel, tightening as you go.

Tape the rolled newspaper so it doesn't unroll.

We used 3 pieces of tape for each roll.
Tap out the pencil/dowel.

Find the center and bend in half.
Tape so the newspaper so it stays folded in half.
Repeat for 7 more newspapers so that you have a total of 8 folded newspapers.
Cut tube so that you have 2 tubes the length of the tin can.
Cut the newspaper rolls so that they are the length of the tubes.

Put 4 newspaper rolls so that you can see 8 holes in each tube. It will be tight.

Put tubes in can.

Push moss between the edges of the paper tubes and tin can.

The bee nest is done and now for their roof and post to complete their home!
Start screws in the top holes in roof A by screwing in just until they poke out the other side.

Attach roof A screws to the holes in roof B.

Finish screwing in the screws to attach A and B and complete the roof.
Completed Roof!
Screw the screws into the back of the post and through the back of the roof.
*You may have to drill these holes if you waited until the roof was made for the Prep.

Paint the roof and post with outdoor or acrylic paint.
Push the hemp rope either up or down through the holes in the top of the roof.
Tie a double knot either on top of the roof or under the tin can (as pictured)
Trim the rope.
Dig a hole and push bee home into it. Pack dirt around the post.
Alternatively if you made the post to screw into a fence or shed, go ahead and screw it in!


Look how awesome this little guy's turned out that made one with the Summer Craft Kit 2013!
He made it on the first day they took home the kit!
I love it!
Some great books are:

These Bees Count by Alison Formento


Brilliant Bees by Linda Glaser


Please BRAINSTORM your ideas/suggestions in the COMMENTS below for the Bee Home!
Happy Crafting
~Sara
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