Build A bee hotel for your backyard
Are you looking for step by step instructions to make your own bee hotel for a school group or even your own backyard?
From humble coffee cans to fancier hotels with a roof, there are many ways to get creative with the design. Here, we provide a brief introduction into building a simple first time bee hotel.
Important things to remember!
- Bees need more than just a nest. They need food and water. Make sure the hotel is near blooming flowers and a source of water for the bees.
- Hotels work better when facing SOUTHEAST.
Bee Hotel designs can range from the more ornate like the UNC Asheville Bee Hotel (above) or the more humble hotel seen below, using recycled materials. There are endless possibilities and it's also a fun project that is highly customizable.
Design Idea #1
This hotel design was created by Mike Dunn, the natural science educator at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. This design is suitable if you are comfortable cutting wood pieces ahead of time. This is a good hotel to use with younger children and gives them a great introduction into the life solitary bees and where they nest. It's also a fun hotel to paint!
- 2 x 3 vinyl gutter downspout extensions (15 inches in length; cut in half for two 7.5 inch pieces).
- 1 inch thick untreated boards cut to fit as backing inside gutter piece (cut using scroll or band saw).
- 2 x 3 vinyl connector piece as overhang to protect from the rain (slides on front of gutter where bees will fly in and out).
- 2 screw eye hooks (#214 x 13/16 inch).
- 2 small stainless steel wood screw to attach wooden backing (#6 x 1/2 inch).
- Cord to hang bee house.
- Outdoor compatible acrylic paints to decorate the outside of hotel.
- Bamboo sections or other dry hollow stems cut at 6 inches (bamboo should have one end closed).
1. Attach 7.5 inch piece of gutter and attach gutter downspout connection. Use the outdoor acrylic paint to get creative!
2. Cut gutter pieces and wooden backing. Attach the wood back flush with the back of the gutter piece using two wood screws.