Build Your Own Native Bee House

For a larger view and description of each photo, click on any image above. Then, use left and right arrow keys to move through photos.

Build Your Own Native Bee House

Creating a bee hotel is a great way to increase pollinator habitat in your own yard and garden, as they provide shelter and nesting areas for native bee populations. They can take a variety of different shapes and forms, ranging from elaborate house structures to a simple blocks or logs. No matter what kind of bee hotel you choose to build, here are some important things to note to make sure your structure is a bee-friendly success!

  1. Make sure the wood you use is untreated, as treated lumber may contain toxic chemicals harmful to bees. Call ahead to your local or chain hardware store to make sure they have untreated options. We used a combination of purchased wood and logs from trees native to the area to make our bee hotel.

  2. Decide what type of structure you want to create. Pro tip: Get creative! Bee hotels come in all shapes and sizes.

  3. Cut the remaining wood into blocks at least 7 inches long. This is what you will use to fill in the structure.

  4. Drill holes in the blocks, this is where the bees will actually live. Make sure you have drill bits long enough to drill a six inches deep, as that is the depth needed for bees to nest inside a hole. We used three different drill bits to create a variety of hole sizes. Pro tip: be sure to reverse the drill half way through drilling the holes to alleviate the sawdust build up within the hole.

  5. Place the blocks inside the structure, making sure the holes face out. Pro tip: You can cover the structure with chicken wire to prevent the blocks from falling or being taken out while still allowing plenty of space for the bees to come and go.

  6. Place your bee hotel in a garden or wooden area, preferably in the shade. Now the structure is ready to serve as home to the thousands of native bee species that call the United States home.

Click here
for detailed instructions on how to make your own bee house and to find out more about backyard beekeeping.

Be sure to send Beyond Pesticides a picture of your bee house for a chance to be featured on our website! Email [email protected] to submit your photo.