Make your own bee hotel

You can help native bees by providing them a secure place to nest. What many call bee hotels or bee homes range from simple to deluxe designs.

(Mason bees are amazing pollinators.)

One way is to drill various-sized holes into a wooden block or tree cookie and hang it in a sheltered area.

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Another simple solution is to cut down PVC or plastic pipes and fill them with paper straws and hang it or tie it to a tree or fence post.

One of the easiest ways to create a bee home is with bamboo. You can find bamboo pretty cheap at local garden centers or even Wal-Mart. Buy a bundle with pieces of bamboo of different sizes and use a saw to cut the bamboo to approximately 4-inch lengths.

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Take a foot-long zip tie and start the zipping so it is a circle. Hold the circle vertically, pressing down so that bottom is flat. Layer pieces of bamboo, of all different widths, into the circle. When you're done, tighten the zip tie so the bamboo pieces stay in a bundle.

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Hang your bee hotel when it is starting to warm up outside in a place where it will receive morning sun, facing the east. The hotel needs to be fastened to something so that it does not rotate or move. The native bees that this hotel will draw in are sensitive to nest orientation once they start using it.

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Mount the hotel so that the bamboo lies horizontally, not at an angle, with the flight path into the bamboo unobstructed.

This hotel will aid the next generation of beneficial bees.

(Learn how native bees nest here.)

Simple origami bee

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Native bees: Mason bees are fantastic pollinators

Mason bees might be the best pollinators of all bees. Instead of wetting pollen and putting it in pollen sacs like honeybees, mason bees are covered in hair that collects pollen as they move around, searching for nectar. They can certainly carry a lot of pollen and significant pollinators for apple, cherry and plum trees. (Try Read More »

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We’ve all been outside drinking a pop at a picnic, when these little black-and-yellow creatures start flitting around and trying to get into the drink. “Sweat bees,” someone will say, shaking his or her head. “They’re so annoying.” Learning about bees as we put together the bee identification spinner for the new Pollinator Paradise addition, Read More »

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Six ways native bees differ from honeybees

People often use the term bee when talking about any kind of buzzing creature outside — it could be a honeybee, a bumble bee, a mason bee, a sweat bee or even a wasp or yellowjacket. However, it’s important to differentiate between the different kinds of bees. That may be difficult since the U.S. has Read More »

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1 Comment

  1. John F Smeltzer on June 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Excellent suggestions …. thanks.