The cleaning of nest boxes is something which unfortunately is very often neglected. About 90% of all boxes set up cannot be cleaned and after a few years arc full of nesting material and unfit for habitation. Eventually a colony of bumble bees may come and set up home in the box. making great use of the nesting material.
If you wish, youcan construct your box so that it can be cleaned from the ground using a pole; this should be carried out in both autumn and spring. An ingenious solution to this problem designed by Arvid Wallin is shown on page 15. The bottom folds downwards and is kept firmly in place by a piece of bent fencing wire. The nest can be cleaned using a pole littcd with a bent nail. Even thcsctting up is clever. A nail about 3 cm in length is hammered into the tree at an angle of 45 degrees and the nest box is hung from this nail by a hole drilled into its back surface. Another nail is then hammered in below the nest, and a tight-fitting plate is included which causes the nail to move outwards as the tree grows (a very important factor ). Another alternative is to fit a sliding floor made, for example, from boards, to allow nest cleaning. The board floor can either run in a groove sawn into the lower edge of the nest box or in a track between the box and a metal plate which should be fastened outside the lower edge of the box and folded around underneath to form a supporting lip.
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