In 3 easy steps, using materials that you mostly have around the home, create a place for ground nesting bees to use to lay their larvae and raise the next generation. We have about 250 variety of bees in the UK, a lot of them nest in the ground, like the mining bee or nomad bees for example.
It takes a lot of energy to dig out a hole with your body! so providing a habitat in suitable substrate with ready made tunnels takes the hard work out of it.
Collect together materials; you will need sand, grit, soil, a trowel, water & mister, a large plant pot or box or wooden frame deep enough to fill with sand, take deep holes and stand up to rubbish weather!
Make the nesting substrate; with a ratio of 2:1:0.5 of sand (2 scoops), grit (1 scoop) & soil (0.5 scoop).
Mix well and moisten with warm water (I used rain water from the water butt) so it holds together nicely. If it crumbles add more water, be careful not to make it too wet.
Put some of the mix in your container and gently compact (you could use a empty flower pot or a tile). Keep going with this method until your container is full.
Using sticks of different diameters, pencil or screwdriver make holes. They should be 2cm apart, the deeper the better.
Place your container at ground level, amongst some flowering plants. In a south facing area of your garden slightly tilted upwards so that rain runs off the surface; daisies, buttercups, thistles and umblifers like hogweed or cow parsley and fruit trees are enjoyed by soiltary bees.