Bees are miniature marvels, and a key figure in natural ecosystems and the web of life. Having reaped the benefits from over 100 million years of beevolution, we now have a duty to help these fascinating creatures. Making a bee hotel is an easy and enjoyable project from The Bee Book to get your garden buzzing by attracting a range of solitary bees and providing them with somewhere safe to stay - all in just a few simple steps.
You will need:
• Measuring tape and a pencil
• A section of plastic drainpipe, 110mm (4½in) diameter or similar
• Bamboo canes of the same width, up to 10mm (½in)
• Electric Drill
• Heavy-duty string or plastic twine
• Metal hook, branch, or wall hanging for fixing
1. Measure and mark 200mm (8in) from one end of the plastic drainpipe. Cut the pipe to size using a handsaw.
2. Cut the bamboo into pieces 10-15mm (1½ - ⅝in) shorter than the length of the plastic drainpipe, to allow for an overhang. As you cut the pieces, make one of the cuts close to a "node" (the knuckle-like joints found at intervals along bamboo canes) so that each piece has an open and closed end.
3. Mark two points halfway along the section of drainpipe at roughly the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions when viewing the pipe from its end. Drill holes at both these points.
4. Take a piece of string about 300mm (12in) long. Tie a large knot in one end and thread the free end through one of the holes, from inside to out. Pull it through and insert the free end into the other hole. Tie another large knot in the free end. The string should now form a loop with knots inside the pipe at either end.
5. Insert the bamboo pieces into the pipe, taking care to avoid damaging the knots. The closed ends of the bamboo should all be flush with the same end of the pipe, forming the back of the bee house. Keep adding bamboo pieces until they are packed in tightly and do not move.
For more tips on how to create a bee friendly garden, check out our list of the easiest bee-friendly gardening tips.
The Bee Book is a beautiful celebration of and introduction to the world of bees, the ways in which we benefit from them, and how we can help them to thrive. With projects for attracting bees to your garden and uses for honey including home beauty remedies, The Bee Book is the ultimate guide to the world of these miniature marvels.