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Making a bee hotel
A bee hotel is a place suitable for bees to reside in. Not all bees live in hives and many bees are solitary and not social; many bees prefer to find holes, crevices, cracks and tree hollows to stay in. You can help encourage a wider range of bees to stay in your own garden space by providing them with a bee hotel. This can be great for getting some extra pollination for your vegetables and fruits.
Making a bee hotel using a container
Use bamboo cane for this method of making a bee hotel.
- Find a suitable pot or container. A terracotta or glazed ceramic pot is ideal.
- Cut the pieces of bamboo cane to the length of the container. The pieces should reach the mouth of the container but not stick out too far.
- Create a bundle from the cut pieces of bamboo. After cutting enough to fill the container, tie them into a bundle. Tie a round of tape, twine or thick, rough ribbon around one end of the bamboo bundle, to keep it joined together. This will be the end that faces down into the container.
- Make a blob of modelling clay. Place this into the base of the container and press down to help it to stay in place.
- Push the end of the bundle with the tape or tie around it into the modelling clay. Press really hard to seal the bamboo pieces off at that end.
- Fan the top end of the bamboo bundle out in the top of the container. If there are sufficient bamboo pieces to fan out and fill the pot, that is great. If not, use more modelling clay around the sides of the bamboo pieces to keep it in place.
- Put the bee hotel somewhere suitable for encouraging the bees. Lay the bee hotel on its side on a suitable surface, such as on a bed of leaves and moss in the fork of a tree branch, etc.
Making a bee hotel using wood
- Cut a round of wood from a fallen tree trunk.
- Drill holes of varying sizes across the surface of the wood.
- Hang the holey wood in a tree or somewhere else suitable to encourage the bees.
You can attach hanging pieces around the edges of larger pieces of wood (stump rounds), such as metallic sheeting and wire, to help them to hang.
Make a little frame in the shape of a house and fill with hollowed wood such as bamboo or holey rounds of wood. The little house shape makes it pleasant to hang in a courtyard or patio area.
Cut a whole block of wood and insert bamboo pieces into the side and front of the wood block. The image shows other round tubes used, such as plastic pipes. This would be a good project to repurpose tube-like objects and turn them into little bee hotel holes.
Make bamboo bundles as for the container bundle method above but instead of inserting them into a container, simply string them up somewhere convenient for the bees.