Purple Martins, Orchard, Insects, Honey Bees!

I was contemplating the idea of getting some purple Martin birdhouses to help with insects (beetles and stink bugs) in particular but after doing a small research I found that some other good other insects are on their menu such as dragon flies, butterflies and bees and others! Which actually help with mosquitos and pollination And I happen to have honey bees!!! So I don’t know if this would be a good good or a bad move.

Does anyone have bees and purple Martins? What are you comments about this?
Or what would you suggest?
Thanks in advance!

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Not quite purple martins, but at my work we have large populations of barn and tree swallows. I haven’t noticed any impact on my beehives and they don’t specifically hang around the beehives.

Also, look at putting up bat houses for pest control. Or encouraging tree frogs. We have grey tree frogs that have made their home in our backyard and they seem to have eaten a lot of bugs!

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I’ve never seen purple martin houses actually being used by purple martins. They end up being used by all sorts of other birds OR not being used at all. If you put them up " good luck" to you.
I like the idea of bat houses. Frogs do a great job of as well. Tough to keep frogs in the same area at times.

I agree, I like the idea of the bat house to help with mosquitoes since that’s the time of the day when we’re out there watering and being eat up by them.


On this discussion board, I post from a PC, so I don’t deal with a one-finger keyboard app imagining whole words for me. Here, the big risk is my overlooking Discus’ real-time spellchecker and posting misspellings anyway. On other boards, I am abjectly in the thrall of my cellphone’s keyboard app. I don’t think I’ve ever been embarrassed so much by misspellings as whole-word substitutions.

There are whole classes of typos that are not misspellings or spurious substitutions, which range from poor orthography (capitalization, punctuation) and bad grammar (tense, case, subject/verb agreement, parallelism) all the way to missing and superfluous clauses and unfathomable errors of logic. These cases, while lamentable, are rarely cause for a complete communication breakdown because the reader naturally imposes his own sense of what the conversation is about.

The biggest obstacles to understanding remain misspelling and unwarranted whole-word substitution, but most of these could be caught along with all other kinds of typos by a real-time syntax checker — if such a thing could be. In fact, such things did indeed exist. Fondly I remember a feature of the RightWriter word-processing software from decades ago that could red-line a typed document with precision rivaling that of a fourth-grade teacher.

Such things certainly exist for artificial computer languages, but real-world apps for natural languages seem to be missing nowadays. Perhaps the challenge of crafting an English language syntax checker is of insufficient interest, given that anything deployed to the Internet would need to accommodate many languages. The techniques required do not imply a deep machine understanding. Much can be achieved with fairly simple syntax parsing that catches only a fraction of the errors that can conceivably exist in a sentence.

More likely the impediment is that casual users would object to an automated grammar nanny watching over their shoulders, nitpicking at every nuance of conversation or even of thought and expression. However, I found that submitting to this degree of oversight with RightWriter improved my writing and my success at communicating via the written word.

I’ve never heard of purple martins bothering the bees or butterflies. They do eat a lot of mosquito hawks. I don’t think you will notice any reduction in beetles or stink bugs. If you have a good, open spot for a nest box you can give it a try. Do any of your neighbors have martin houses? Just putting up a box does not guarantee you will get them to nest, but if you see martin houses in your area you will probably get some. Best to put up your box at the right time and take it down when they leave and clean and store it for next season.

I have pretty good open space for them. A neighbor has some by 1/4 mile away and I know there is no guarantee they would be nesting on it on the first year or two and I have read all ready about them, this is not your typical birdhouse that you put up and be done with it till next year. The house has to be taken down and cleaned up every year after they leave and put away till next year at the right time.

I might give it a try, after all is always fun to watch the birds except starlings!

Hi @Ruben. I hope you do try. They’re a lot of fun to have around. I had two groups for thirty years at my old farm. A few tips that worked for me:

Get a post system that allows you to lower and raise the houses easily to rip out sparrow nests, plug the holes that sparrows/starlings have targeted, etc. Critical.

They prefer gourds over hotels so if you get a hotel hang some gourds under it. Look at “Super Gourds” at purple martin.org

The Starling “excluder” holes worked to exclude the Martins! I didn’t get Martins until I went back to round holes.

Study purple martin.org guidance on where to locate the house in your yard- very important. I mounted a couple of martin decoys on the roof of the house.

Good luck. The T 14 house link below slides up and down the post that goes through the center of the house. Highly recommend- what I used.


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Hi Steve,

I definitely going to try. And now even more since your encouragement, I have the rest of the year to get everything ready and be ready by next year.

I might get that pole system in the future but as of now I got some poles and hotels that I got from someone else who upgrade his, so that would get me started for now. And I would hang a couple gourds just like you suggested.

Thanks for the tips and the info!


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