Turning bumblebee houses

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In the words of one of our neighbours, we won the neighbour lottery. Sometimes it feels like we live in a little three-house private community. In the suburbs where everyone has a six-foot fence separating themselves from each other, we are the end house of three with no fences between us. When our kids were younger they used to enjoy one huge garden. We enjoy frequent “hello”s as we see each other going about our day, yet respect, and enjoy the privacy of our own spaces.

As last year drew to a close, I decided I wanted to do something to let them know just how much we appreciate them as neighbours.

Whilst waiting for a suitable second hand lathe to reveal itself several years ago, I was doing plenty of reading and watching turning material. The first time I saw miniature birdhouses, I was smitten.

Miniature birdhouses by Kurt Hurtzog

It was one of the very first projects I, and everyone else in my family, tried our hand at. In fact we have three unfinished, and rather rough examples hanging in our kitchen for several years now. They really are far too small for birds, and with a plethora of bumblebees in our garden, within our family we refer to them as bumblebee houses.

And so it was that I decided that with Christmas around the corner and plenty of hanging “things” about, I would turn a one for each neighbour.

The body was made with macrocarpa with something-form-the-scrap-pile for the roofs. The macrocarpa really came out beautifully and has a lovely depth when polished up.

I made a bunch of shavings to fill a shoe box for padding and presentation (let’s be honest, it was more about presentation when it was only being carried next door). And that was it. They neighbours were delighted and really appreciative which made it even more rewarding. It was a nice way to let them know that they’re special to us.


December 2022

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