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I seem to be a perpetual small wood project addict. At least it's a healthy addiction.:D

For years, I had an aluminum Heath hexagonal house up. It seems to be one of the two common house types in this area, and martins seem to prefer whatever is standard in their area. Anyway, last summer, I did nest cavity temperature checks comparing my wood house and the aluminum house, and the aluminum averaged significantly higher temperatures. Texas lost lots of baby martins last year due to the early onset of very high temperatures (over 100 degrees about halfway through June). I built a wood hexagonal martin house that is very similar to the Heath (which most martin landlords hate anyway;)). What can I say? Martins aren't too concerned about classy housing.:D Here's a link to pix. I still have some painting to finish up on the pole and base support, but the weather hasn't permitted, and I was itching to go ahead and get it raised.I had a blast building it, and I got to use my new cheapo chop-saw that I wanted and got for my birthday last year.:)

http://www.pbase.com/dragonfly/wood_heath_hex

edited to add: In case anyone wonders why there are bars in front of the entrances, they are owl guards. I lost an entire colony to owl attacks in '07, and it was devastating. I had visitors for the past couple of years, but no martins who committed. Sometimes it takes awhile to re-establish a martin colony. I just keep trying.
 

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you,re starting to scare me...are you not aware that,given availability, something like 90% of a purple martin's diet will be...DRAGONFLIES!!! for real-look it up. good luck,mike :)
 

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you,re starting to scare me...are you not aware that,given availability, something like 90% of a purple martin's diet will be...DRAGONFLIES!!! for real-look it up. good luck,mike :)
Yeah, I'm aware of that.:D I'm too big for them to feed their babies though.;)
 

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I lost an entire colony to owl attacks in '07, and it was devastating. I had visitors for the past couple of years, but no martins who committed. Sometimes it takes awhile to re-establish a martin colony. I just keep trying.
That's what I hear and read. It my take a while to get a new colony to move in once something like that happens. Don't the same Martin families return to the same house every year?

That really looks great! Great craftsmanship. Let me know when you start selling some. :thumbsup:
 

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How much of a problem are the martins for the bees? I have a martin house already up at my new house, but I was debating whether to open it up at all or whether the let the sparrows have it. Actually, at the moment, I don't even have bees at my house yet.
 

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Not much harm. They will get a few, but not enough to worry about. Except the virgin queen that might grab from time to time. Ironically Dragonfly's are a much larger concern. :)
 

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That's what I hear and read. It my take a while to get a new colony to move in once something like that happens. Don't the same Martin families return to the same house every year?
The same pairs will usually return, or at least the same male who had a successful breeding season there in the past (assuming they survive the flights to South America and back). The first time we had martins, it had taken 10 years to get the first pair, so I may still be waiting for awhile.

Before I sell any, I will have to become more proficient. With the time I put into this one, my hourly rate would probably bring the price to much more than it would be worth to you.:) Of course, the first time is the hardest, because I planned it as I built it.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How much of a problem are the martins for the bees?
I was a little concerned about that, plus we have a group of cliff swallows that nest under the bridge adjoining our property. Last year, I had watched the swallows feed over our wildflower field frequently, and I was afraid I would be upset when I opened the hive to check it. Amazingly, last year, my hive was more healthy and better populated than ever. Like Derek said, the mating queen would be the primary concern, because martins feed very high up, not in the range that bees normally fly.
 

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I have a martin house already up at my new house, but I was debating whether to open it up at all or whether the let the sparrows have it.
I highly recommend opening it up to martins. Martin landlording is a great hobby, and will brings your kids alot of joy imo. Maybe even you too.:)
 

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The same pairs will usually return, or at least the same male who had a successful breeding season there in the past (assuming they survive the flights to South America and back). The first time we had martins, it had taken 10 years to get the first pair, so I may still be waiting for awhile.
I was removing a swarm from a ole czech guys tree last July. Simple grab and go. Well 6 hours later and many beers we were talking Martins. He had 6-7 houses. Said he had a bad snake year. Had snakes crawing up the poles and getting to them. This was about 5 years ago. The Martins haven't been back since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
. Said he had a bad snake year. Had snakes crawing up the poles and getting to them. This was about 5 years ago. The Martins haven't been back since.
Yes, the rat snake, in particular, is bad about climbing martin house poles, thus the invention and use of predator guards.:) I use them on all my birdhouses- martin or bluebird. Once a pair has an unsuccessful breeding season in a location, they don't return.
 

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It was interesting reading about Purple Matrians but I do have one question.How far are your bees fromthe Martians?I would like to have a martian house but may not have enough room with my bees.
 
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