Make a simple bee hotel
A simple activity to create a nesting site for solitary bees.
Useful items from our shop
Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:
- re-use garden canes
Health & Safety Considerations
Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:
- tool use
- handling long bamboo canes
- splinters from bamboo
What you'll need
- old bamboo canes or pack of bee nesting tubes or use hollow stems like dried dock
- elastic band (optional)
This activity has been provided by
Step #1 Source your tubes
Give a shout out to any keen gardeners or someone who has an allotment and see if you can source some old garden bamboo canes. They often get damaged and become too short to use to support plants.
Explore your local area and see if you can find any sticks/stems lying around which are hollow.
You can remove the pith from elder - see our Elder Bead activity for instructions.
Step #2 cut hollow tubes to length
Find a suitable working area with plenty of space, especially if you are cutting full length canes.
Using a hacksaw cut your canes into lengths of around 5cm. Cut enough to create a bundle that can be tied together.
- use a clamp or get someone to hold the cane whilst sawing
- 'let the saw do the work'!
- be careful - cutting with secateurs increases the chance of the cane splitting (particularly old canes)
If your pieces of cane split, repurpose them as seed labels!
Step #3 tie the tubes together
Bundle your tubes together and tie up with some string.
Use an elastic band to hold the tubes together before you tie with the string, then remove the elastic band once it is all secure.
Step #4 find a home for your hotel
Preferably find a warm and shady spot (not in direct sun) that is protected from driving rain, and hang your bee hotel about 1m off the ground.
You could use a little hook to hang the bundle up - the bee hotel pictured has been placed just under the extended roof of a playhouse.
Take it further:
- keep a look out for bees using the bee hotel and see if you can identify which species of bee are using it
- make a small frame to protect the tubes
Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.