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Daily Archives: January 19, 2011

Tim and a re-bar yurt

You may wonder about my fascination with yurts.  This fascination with yurts has been with me since I saw the yurts in Saskatchewan and at the same time the realization that yurts of this type would be a good structure for mason bee housing.  A yurt might just be the answer for creating a warm environment at a time of year when temperatures are often cool.  I think cool spring weather is our biggest problem in being able to produce lots of mason bees.  Even under cloudy and windy conditions temperatures are quite a bit warmer inside the yurt then outside.

The re-bar yurt was constructed by J.Gaskin.  Re-bar makes it as strong as the yurts of Saskatchewan (these were  made from iron pipe) and because of this strength, nests could be hung from the yurt itself.  Also, it could hold a significant number of nests, like in the alfalfa fields for alfalfa leaf cutter bee pollination.  The re-bar at the base of the yurt could be pushed into the dirt for added stability.

Hole in roof. Re-bar is welded to metal
ring.  Note white tarp was used for the roof.
Skirt buried under soil to prevent air
 movement  into yurt from base of the
wall.

This yurt consisted of 3 rings of re-bar and 8 verticals.  When I draped the material around the framework, I found that another ring of re-bar would have been useful at the height where the re-bar was bent to form the roof. Also, when hanging up the Highrises inside the yurt, I found that the Highrises were not easy to attach to the re-bar.  A special hook of some sort would make it easier to hang Highrises on the wall and would make it easy for removing Highrises for harvesting and cleaning.

Cocoon Release houses.
Each holding about 200 cocoons.
Highrises filled with a variety of interlocking Quicklock
 nesting  trays.  Note painted letters on front of nests to
help bees orient to their nesting tunnel.
                        
This yurt worked well for the bees. The size definitely makes it more suitable for commercial use rather than for use in the home garden. It was too big for a 4×4 and had to be hauled to the site by a farm vehicle.
Now all we have to do is design one that is suitable for the home gardens, one that can be used for small orchards and work for the larger commercial acreages. 

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