Building a Bee Hotel is a Wonderful way to attract pollinators into your Garden! Save money by Learning how to build your own DIY Bee Hotel from Free Pallet wood and scrap materials.
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Bee Population In Decline
I sometimes think that we humans take bees for granted and often undervalue their importance. We assume they will always be there and the hope is they always will be…but the truth is, there is a growing concern that the bee population is in decline. All across the world Bee habitats are being destroyed, pesticides are taking their toll and climate breakdown is proving to be a negative stress to the Bees.
Why Do We Need Bees?
The importance of bees cannot be sufficiently measured, their value is in fact, Immeasurable-we need them! Here’s why…
- The vast majority of food we rely on requires pollination by Bees. The process of pollination helps plants to grow, breed and produce food. While there are other methods of pollination, via other animals and wind pollination… Bees have the ability to pollinate on a much greater scale. A study suggested that it would potentially cost UK farmers an incredible £1.8 billion a year to manually pollinate their crops…the Bees do it for free!
- Pollination is crucial because many of our vegetables, fruits and other crops rely on it. Without Bees to pollinate, the food needed to sustain our livestock would decline, the animals would suffer… and so would we, meat production, dairy production, all would decline
- What about the Honey? Can you imagine a world without Honey? I certainly cant…liquid sunshine! My Milk and Honey Bread for example, how would I make that?
- Love Wildflowers? Me too! Bees pollinate around 80% of wildflowers in Europe, so our countrysides would look vastly different and far less beautiful without the important work of Bees
How Can You Help Bees ?
So now we know their in trouble, we should help help them out…shouldn’t we? Of course we should! Let’s do our bit and roll out the Red carpet for Bees! Here’s a few ways we can help…
Bee friendly Flowers
Dedicate an area of your garden specifically to Bees, grow Bee friendly flowers and encourage them to visit. Foxgloves, Delphiniums and Calendula are a particular favourite of the bees or you could keep it simple and sow a wildflower seed mix
Don’t Use Pesticides
Try to not use pesticides in your garden, some pests are actually beneficial to Bees and provide food for the pollinators.
Build a Bee Hotel
Bees need shelter to nest and hibernate in. A Bee Hotel provides them with some free accommodation! While you can buy these readily enough online and in Garden centres, it’s much more fun to make your own….
How To build a bee hotel?
If you build it they will come! Ever seen field of dreams? Same principle! If you take the time to provide Bees with a residence and encourage them to stay, you may find your Bee Hotel quite popular…a regular breeding ground where Bees can lay their Eggs.
What You’ll need
- Pallet wood planks
- A saw, drill and nails or screws
- 3 x 2 Wood offcuts or alternatively use cut bamboo canes
- A long pole (old brush Handle) or a back fixing for hanging the Beehotel on a wall or tree.
Bee Hotel instructions
1. Cut 6 Pallet wood planks into 60cm lengths. Cut 4 pallet wood planks into 25cm lengths. Cut 2 Pallet wood Planks into 30 cm Lengths.
2. Take 2 x 60cm lengths of wood and 2 x 25cm lengths of wood and screw them together to form a large rectangle. Once you have the rectangle securely screwed together, place the remaining 4 x 60cm pallet wood planks on top of the rectangle to form a backboard (It should look like a drawer) *You may need less pallet wood planks for this part, it’s all dependant on the width of the planks.
3. With the 2 x 30cm pallet wood planks. Form a roof (A roof peak, see pictures) Screw them together at the top to create a ‘v’. Attach them to the Rectangle, by screwing the screws at a diagonal trajectory into the rectangle. You will now have a triangular opening, under the Roof Peak, screw some leftover pallet wood to the back, to cover it.
4. If you intend to mount your bee hotel on a pole, drill a hole in the bottom, see picture…Box it in with the remaining 25 cm lengths of wood (*This is just for aesthetics, so you don’t see the top of the pole, you could skip this part and just attach the pole to the base of the Bee hotel with Pole Sockets)
5. Next Paint the Bee hotel in a colour of your choosing or alternatively use a wax or stain to protect it from the elements
6. I did not measure the lengths of wood for the next part, I simply used scraps of 3 x 2 wood and drilled holes into the blocks (holes should range between 2mm and 10mm, to accommodate different species of Bee) If You have no scrap wood to hand, you can cut Bamboo and arrange them in the Bee hotel instead, the hollow of the bamboo will be equally appreciated by the Bees.
7. I then arranged the blocks inside the large Rectangle and secured them in place by firing screws into them from the back of the Bee hotel, so they couldn’t be seen.
8. If you intend to Mount your Bee hotel on a wall or Hang from a tree branch, now would be the time to attach a fitting to the back.
*You don’t have to stick to my measurements exactly, Pallet wood and scrap wood may have different dimensions. You can just go with the flow and create your own Bee Hotel by eye, figure out what works best for you. The purpose of this post is to help the Bees by using Recycable materials to create a practical resource so they can mate and thrive.