One of our 7 Kestrel nestboxes is installed in tree at a home adjacent to a wildnerness area in the hills of Los Angles and was occupied by a Western Screech Owl. Not the expected outcome from the project, and both the homeowner and my husband and I were **thrilled** by the spunky, photogenic owl.
Then, the homeowner reported an invasion of bees and the absence of the owl, much to the disappointment of all.
Question for all of you, as this was the first time we've had this issue.
-- What can we do to prevent bees from taking over a nest box and that also do not discourage Kestrel nesting? (On the web we've read of coating the inside of the box with Pam or odorless soap as bees do not like slippery surfaces. We also read of coating the interior ceiling of the box with aluminum foil to dissuade bees.)
--On the web we have also seen mentions of using pepperment or cinnamon essencial oil to repel the stinging insects, or using mothballs. Is it known if these scents also discourage Kestrels from using the nestboxes?
-- Once there are bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets, what are our options? It will be kinda expensive if we need to hire a professional to get rid of them each time. Should the nestbox be destroyed since there could be a lingering scent that continues to attract the insects?
--Is there anything about having an owl occupy that box that makes it somewhat more appealing for bees? Trolling on the internet, we found a number of references to bee problems with owl nesting boxes and we find it curious that of our 7 boxes the only one with a bee problem is the one that was used by an owl.
We welcome any and all information you could provide about avoiding and managing bee infestations.
Thanks SO MUCH.