July 27, 2020

Attracting bees to the garden with these DIY bee hotels

bee hotel
Over the years, we have made our garden pollinator friendly by adding a variety of features! It is exciting to watch these homes and places being utilized by benefiting creatures. We have also seen the benefits of these features as they have encouraged different types of bees to come into the garden and help pollinate flowers - especially in our vegetable garden. 
The bee hotels we placed in our garden were made in a post or block style, and painted with acrylic paint for aesthetics. We leave these homes all year round in the garden. 
colourful bee hotel
To make your bee home, get a 4x4 block of wood and drill holes in varying sizes from 2 mm to 10mm in diameter. Different sizes will encourage different species of bees. Once the holes are drilled remove splinters by sanding and smoothing the holes. 
bee hotel pollinator garden
It is best to use thick untreated timber. Fix this post to a sunny wall, fence or any other permanent structure at least 3 feet off the ground in the garden. The top of the bee hotels have a shelter on the top so rainwater doesn't get into the hole.  
meadow painting acrylic
Bee hotels do not need to be painted. However, we did paint a meadow on both sides of this bee hotel. We first placed tin metal sheet pieces that we had from another project and painted using Deco Art acrylic paint. 

For the top, we placed a cactus shaped shallow dish that is used to serve chips and dips. We filled some parts of this dish with marbles, and regularly clean it and put water. We have seen a variety of insects sipping water from this roof top, including some birds.  
american gold finch on top of bee hotel chased by insect
pollinator garden DIY bee hotel
Some of the holes are filled with mud by solitary mason bees - the female bee finds a hollow hole, lays an egg, places food for the larvae, and seals the hole with mud or leaf debris and leaves. Once the larvae is formed into a bee it will chew its way through the mud and fly out. We have placed these hotels further from each other in different areas of the garden where there are lots of flowers for them to get pollen and nectar from.   
summer pollinator garden bee hotel
It is important to keep the hotel clean every year after the bees have left to encourage bees to continue their process. 
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  1. That is so cool and it's really important to try to help out the bees because there are definitely less and less bees doing their thing nowadays!

  2. These are awesome. I think I'll try to make one with my granddaughter. She has been learning about bees, and this project would be perfect!

  3. These are great! So sad we hardly see bees & butterflies anymore.

  4. This would be fun to do with my grandsons. We like to craft together.

  5. I had thought about making one last year but your article has such great ideas and they look so easy, I will try it.

  6. What a great idea. I wouldn't mind trying to make one of these with my two boys. Fun project.

  7. love it! would love one for out bee garden!

  8. I would love to have that in my yard

  9. This is a beautiful idea, great family activity.

  10. What a great project to do with the kids and they will get such joy watching the bees!

  11. That is so cute would make a great project to make .

  12. This looks like a fun activity for the whole family, very beautifully done.


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