Help some local pollinators by building your own bee hotel.
There are plenty of tutorials and guides out there. Below are a few easy steps to quickly building a home for solitary bees, followed by links to some other guides.
- With a craft knife, cut both ends off the plastic bottle to create a cylinder.
- Make your lengths of bamboo, grass or reeds 3 cm shorter than the bottle to protect them from rain – use sharp garden clippers to trim them. Bees can’t burrow through the knots in bamboo, so avoid lengths with too many knots.
- Use sandpaper to smooth the ends of the bamboo or reeds if uneven. Bees will be put off by sharp edges barring entry to the holes.
- Use modelling clay or wax to block the rear of completely hollow canes – and to help secure the stems and bamboo in place.
- Before filling it completely, thread a length of strong twine through the bottle, so you can hang up the finished hotel.
- Add more bamboo and reeds until the bottle is tightly packed and secure.
(adapted from Friends of the Earth, United Kingdom)
Read more about wild bees in “Plan Bee.”
Guides and tutorials
Build a Native Bee Hotel (Modern Farmer, February 2017)
Build Your Own Bee Hotel (National Geographic)
How to build a hotel for wild bees (Mother Nature News)
Creating a solitary bee hotel (University of Nebraska Extension, PDF)