Environment Day - Bee Hotel

Bee Hotels


What are Bee Hotels?

Bee hotels are places that act as a resting place for solitary pollinator bees to make their nests. These bees live alone, not in hives, and they do not make honey. 

Why make Bee Hotels?

With bee populations declining to worrying levels, there has been a call for citizens to play their part by building bee hotels for solitary pollinator bees. Although these bees do not make honey, they still play a vital role in the growth of fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers.

Bee Hotel mechanics  

  • **There is a lot of misinformation online about bee hotels, as well as many vendors selling "bug hotels" or even mega "bug condominiums" that are generally not effective and can lead to lead to pests and disease. Different insects and species require different living conditions (e.g. full sun vs. shade, humid vs. dry), so the idea of a "bug condominium"—one place where many species live together—is not usually realistic or effective. Also, smaller is better, as these hotels require regular maintenance.**
  • Preparation Time: 2-3 hours
  • Duration: 2-3 hours 
  • Cost: ~$50 per hotel
  • Volunteers: 4-5
  • Intensity/Effort: Low (some drilling)
  • Location: Consult the additional resources below as well as your local environmental authority or municipal parks and recreation department for information on the best place for your bee hotels.
  • Materials
    • Untreated wood or bamboo (i.e. no stains, wood chippings, plastic or pinecones)
    • Drill (If you are drilling the holes yourself, ensure that the holes are smooth—no splinters—so you don’t accidentally injure your guests)
    • Wood to create the walls, floor, and roof of your hotel
  • Maintenance:
    • Monitor for growth of mould or invasive and/or parasitic species, as these can kill your guests.
  • Research which insects in your community need a home. Focus on a single insect species—it is hard to house many species as they tend to like different conditions.

Additional resources

DIY Bee house with drilled blocks of woodBamboo canes and dried stems for beesimage1image3