Make a bee hotel for your neighbourhood

Bee populations are struggling and hives are failing, but a simple bee hotel can provide a refuge for these beneficial insects, improve your neighbourhood’s biodiversity, and help pollinate plants and trees.

You will need

  • Several pieces of bamboo or cardboard tubes, several large plastic bottles
  • Twine or brown parcel tape, scissors, secateurs or small hacksaws
  • A group of volunteers
  • Somewhere to make your hotels — if it’s dry make them near where you want to set them up
  • Somewhere green to set up your hotel

This is a fun activity to get people involved at a local park, allotment or community garden. It's best done between September and February. This kind of hotel will appeal to a number of different bees.

Instructions

Get equipped

Assemble your tools and volunteers.

Cut the bottle

Using the scissors, cut the plastic bottle just below the neck.

Cut your cardboard or bamboo

Cut your bamboo or cardboard to roughly the length of the remaining bottle.

Fill the bottle

Fill the bottle with the bamboo or cardboard until it is tightly packed enough to stay in the bottle.

Binding

Use twine or brown tape to bind them together if they’re a bit loose.

Find a good spot

Find somewhere green, sunny and sheltered — as bees love the sun — and position the hotel just off the ground so it doesn’t end up in the shade too early. If you want it higher than a couple of feet, run some twine through the bottle first and tie either end and it should hook over a fence or gate post.

Improve the design

If you’ve got someone with real DIY skills then you could make a more elaborate and sturdier version by making a box to put the bamboo in instead of the plastic bottle.

Attract some bees

To help attract more bees, why not plant flowers in your street or seed a wildflower meadow.