Having bees visit your garden is great, getting them to stay is even better! We made this simple DIY Bee Hotel, a Bee B & B if you will, to provide a place for those hard workers to relax after a full day of pollinating. You might be wondering, why don’t the bees just return to their hive? Actually, many bee species are solitary creatures, living on their own in tiny nests made in hollow stems or holes in wood. Although they do not produce honey, they work just as hard to ensure each flower, veggie and fruit is pollinated in your backyard.
- Empty aluminum can, any size. Label removed & washed thoroughly
- Piece of yarn, string, hemp, or twine; strong enough to hold weight of can
- Spray paint
- Cardstock, construction paper, or even a brown grocery bag; avoid lined paper
- Hammer and nail
- Clear tape or non-toxic glue stick
- Sequins, jewels, etc., whatever you want to use to decorate your hotel
- Empty roll of toilet paper or paper towel
- Plastic or paper straws
- Sticks or twigs
- Choose a spot for your Bee Hotel to go. It does not have to be in your garden but close enough that the bees can find it after working all day.
- Use the hammer and nail to poke a small hole in the middle of the unopened side of the can.
- On a covered surface, paint/decorate the can. We decided to keep ours simple and just spray painted it red but you can paint or draw designs, glue on sequins, beads, or jewels. Just remember that bees tend to like brighter, vibrant colors.
- While the can dries, start making your hotel interior. Cut your paper into small squares, making sure the length is the same as your can.
5. Once can is totally dry, pull string through the hole you made and the opening then tie in a double knot. Be sure it is long enough to hang from the branch, hook, etc. in the spot you picked.
- Using the pencil, tightly roll up your pieces of paper then secure with a small piece of tape or glue. Keep rolling until you have enough paper tubes to fill the can.
- Fill can with your paper tubes, straws, or twigs. We added an empty toilet paper roll inside the can then put tubes/paper straws inside the roll and around it. You want your tubes to be snug but not overfilled to the point that are getting crumpled or smashed.
- Once your can is full, hang your hotel from a tree, bush, even along a fence could work.
- Wait for bees to check in!
Inspired by the Bee Hotels found here and here.
Some larger and more elaborate Bee Hotels can be found here.