Build a simple bee house or bee hotel for your backyard! Take the learning outdoors and explore the world of mason bees with a DIY bee house. Follow the instructions below to make your own easy bamboo bee house for local native bees to lay their eggs this spring. Make sure to check out more fun, hands-on nature activities for kids!

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Do Bee Hotels Work?

According to this gardening expert, yes bee hotels do work if you use the right kind of materials and maintain them correctly.

Bee hotels are great for solitary bees that like to lay their eggs in small spaces, like mason bees. They are not made for honeybees.

Mason bees are named because of their habit of using mud or other “masonry” products to make their nests. They are less aggressive and easier to manage than honeybees.

Mason bees are great pollinators and will work in cool or rainy weather when honeybees are more likely to take the day off. Unlike honeybees, they do not have pollen baskets; instead, pollen sticks to the hairs on their abdomen.

Make your own mason bee house below with bamboo tubes. The bamboo is used to allow solitary bees to lay their eggs. Your bee house will also be attractive as a nesting place for other insects like wasps. However, the wasps found in your bee hotel generally will not the stinging kind and are helpful for the garden as well.

A Few Tips For Maintaining Your Bee House

  • Position it at least 3 feet above the ground and make sure it is not going to swing in the wind.
  • Replace any bamboo tubes when they start to look moldy or have parasites in them.
  • In fall, store your bee hotel away and take it out again in the spring.

FREE Printable Nature Activities Pack!

How To Make A Bamboo Bee House

Supplies:

  • 18 Feet Bamboo Stakes (used (3) 6-foot stakes)
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hand Saw/Knife (or power saw)
  • Natural Twine

Instructions:

Step 1: Mark the bamboo in 6-inch sections. If using a 6-foot piece, you should be able to get 12 pieces from each stake.

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Step 2: Using the saw cut the bamboo on the marks to make 6-inch sections.

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Step 3: Unwrap some twine and run it under the cut pieces of bamboo. Then tie the twine back to itself making a tight bundle of bamboo. Wrap the twine around the bundle several times to make sure it is nice and tight.

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Step 4: Then cut the rest of the twine off. Tie the two ends together tightly.

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Step 5: Take the twine and measure out about 12 inches. Then fold and double, then double again until you have four strains that are about 12 inches long. Cut the rest of the twine off. Then tie those pieces together at the end with the two end pieces.

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Step 6: Tuck the twine under the wrapped twine on the bundle. Pull it through so you have twine coming out both ends. Then loop it back around and pull it through itself to form a way to hang the bee house.

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Learn More About Bees & Other Insects

More Fun Nature Activities For Kids

Explore more nature activities here, including…

Printable Nature Activities Pack

Take this nature pack outdoors for hands-on learning!

  • Nature theme writing prompts make for the start of a fantastic outdoor, nature journal.
  • Explore nature-themed STEM challenges that encourage your kiddos to use supplies found in nature and natural materials to complete.
  • Discover the birds in your backyard, and learn how to make different kinds of kid-friendly bird feeders.
  • Observe a favorite flower or leaf, and go on a scavenger hunt or two!
  • Discover how to set up a one-square-foot backyard jungle project.
  • Explore what it’s like to be a collector and set up your own collection.
  • Explore the senses outside
  • Simple leaf science activities with leaves including leaf rubbing, how do leaves breathe, and leaf drawing.
  • Start a seed jar and observe how a plant grows even under the ground!
  • Build an insect hotel for your garden using natural and found materials.

BONUS: Pinecone Pack included!

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