How to Build your own Bee Hotel

As we have all been spending more time in nature and in the open spaces, we often take for granted the buzzing sounds that appear from flower to flower. These hard-working friends of ours have been around for millions of years, pollinating our plants and producing honey.  
 
However, a world without bees is sadly becoming more of a possibility, as these crucial insects are in severe decline. If bees were to become extinct, the planet could be in serious trouble because these creatures play such an integral part of most ecosystems.
 
At Bramley, we have come up with a fun activity that will lend your garden Bees a helping hand and give them a safe place to stay while also finding a use for your throwaway household plastic.
 
On your country walks, keep an eye out for dried twigs, hollow plant stems & lengths of bamboo. These are great to use as nesting materials - just make sure they are dried before use. Bees need holes from 2 to 10mm in diameter to make sure they fit comfortably in their new B&B!
 
 
   
What you will also need:
 
  • 2 litre used plastic bottle (or length of water pipe)
  • Sandpaper
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Strong twine, about 1 metre long
  • Garden clippers or secateurs
  • Modelling clay (optional)

 

 
Step by Step guide:
  1. With a craft knife, cut both ends off the plastic bottle to create a cylinder. If using a length of water pipe to create the cylinder, sand the edges smooth.
  2.  Bees nest deep inside the hollow stems or bamboo canes, so use lengths of at least 100mm, ideally 150mm.
  3. Keeping the stems and canes dry from rain make them 3 cm shorter than the cylinder – use sharp garden clippers to trim them. Bees can’t burrow through the knots in bamboo, so try to avoid canes with too many knots.
  4. Use sandpaper to smooth the ends of the bamboo or stems if uneven. Splinters on the inside edges of stems can also damage their wings.
  5. Use modelling clay or wax to block the rear of completely hollow canes and help secure the stems and bamboo in place. Bind the bunched stems and canes with twine.
  6. Before filling the cylinder, thread a length of twine through, so you can hang up the finished hotel, make sure it’s secure and won't blow away in the wind.
  7. If needed, pack in more hollow stems, bamboo, twigs and reeds until the cylinder is tightly packed and secure.
 
 
After your new hotel is completed, all you need to do to attract the Bees is to make sure it's located at least a metre above the ground to stay dry and face full sunlight.