How to make a bee hotel for your garden

How to make a bee hotel for your garden

Do you love hearing the hum of bees buzzing around your garden? Learn how to make a bee hotel to provide the bees that frequent your garden a safe place to live and raise their young.

What is a bee hotel?

A bee hotel is a structure you place in your garden with the idea that it gives native solitary bees a place to rest and breed. Nearly all of Australia’s 1,700 native bee species are solitary and can be found in most parts of Australia. Unlike honeybees which live in hives, native bees are solitary and nest in tiny hollows and nooks safely away from predators. They don’t store honey in their nests and only collect small amounts of nectar to feed their young. The most known Australian native bee species include Blue Banded, Teddy Bear, Leafcutter, Carpenter, and Resin Bees.

What you need to make a bee hotel

  • Dry hollow stems such as reeds, bamboo stems, and untreated logs with drill holes varying in size.
  • Hardwood timber or plywood
  • Nails or screws

How to make a bee hotel

  1. Cut hardwood timber in 4 x 200 mm by 150 mm by 10 mm, and 1 x backing board 200 mm by 5mm to fit your box dimensions.
  2. Screw or nail all of the side pieces together and attach the backing board.
  3. Measure the depth of the bee hotel and cut bamboo stems or reeds to this measurement.
  4. Place the cut bamboo stems or reeds into the box until it’s full and compact. You should be able to shake the box and none of them fall out.
  5. Once you’ve made your bee hotel, place it in a safe spot in your garden at eye level height.

What makes a good bee hotel?

  • A bee hotel without a backing board and roof will expose bees to the wind and rain. Ensure your bee hotel has a backing board and roof to safely house the bees and their young. 
  • Select bamboo stems varying in size and drill varying sized holes in the logs. Holes more than 1cm in diameter won’t get used. 
  • Sand rough edges to remove splinters as these can tear bee’s fragile wings. 
  • Cut bamboo stems between the nodes. If you need longer bamboo stems, ensure the nodes are at the back of the bee hotel. 
  • Ensure the hollows or holes are no less than 150 mm long as some bees lay female eggs and male eggs at different lengths along the hollow.
  • Avoid using non-breathable materials to make your bee hotel, such as plastic or glass, as these materials hold too much moisture. 
  • Avoid using glue or paint when building your bee hotel. 

How to make a bee hotel for your garden

Create a bee friendly garden 

Plant flowers in your garden 

While a bee hotel is a great way to provide a safe place for bees to nest, it’s equally important to provide them with food to feed on. Planting a garden filled with a variety of nectar producing flowers is the best way to build a healthy environment for bees in your garden. Native flowering plants and tree are the best for bees as well as open single stemmed flowers such as sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, daisies, nasturtium, and lavender. Shop a range of bee friendly flower seeds here.

Don’t use harmful pesticides 

Avoid using pesticides and opt for natural remedies to remove or deter pests from your garden and plants. Toxic pesticides are not only bad for your health and the environment but can be deadly to bees.

Provide a source of water

Like all animals, bees need a safe water source. You can provide this by filling a shallow dish with water and placing a few rocks in it, ensuring the tops are protruding from the water. The bees will use the rocks to land on and safely drink from. Refresh the water every few days to prevent mosquitos from laying their eggs in the water.

Learn more about bees here.

How to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden

Gifts to Grow

Embedded and inspired by nature, Sow ’n Sow believe in purposeful gifting that doesn’t cost the planet.

From a small seed of an idea, Sow ’n Sow was dreamt up by founder Michelle Brady combining her love of gardening and flair for design in 2010.


Unearth more green reads:

Eco-Friendly Surprises: 20 Sustainable Subscription Gifts for Every Budget

In a world where conscious consumer choices can make a significant impact, sustainable subscription gifts are a thoughtful and eco-friendly way to celebrate special occasions or simply show appreciation for the eco-minded individuals in your life. Sustainable subscription gifts often involve products or services that are designed to minimise waste. This can include items with

Read More »

The Garden Diaries: Wander Through Michelle’s Hinterland Oasis

Step into the lush world of Australian gardens with ‘The Garden Diaries,’ our new showcase series that unveils the vibrant stories thriving within backyards. From productive vegetable patches to bush sanctuaries, each story celebrates the unique journey of passionate gardeners and their flourishing green spaces. Come along as we dig deep into the roots of

Read More »

Eco-Friendly Wedding Favours: A Sustainable Gesture of Love

With sustainability being more than just a trend and evolving into an essential way of life, even cherished traditions are adapting to embrace eco-friendly practices. Weddings, often seen as a celebration of love and commitment, are no exception to this transformative shift. As couples embark on the journey of planning their special day, there’s a

Read More »
Unwrap a Green Christmas: 35 Sustainable Secret Santa Gifts

Unwrap a Green Christmas: 35 Sustainable Secret Santa Gifts

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and, of course, gift-giving. This year, why not make your Secret Santa exchange not only memorable but also eco-friendly? Sustainable Secret Santa gifts are a wonderful way to spread holiday cheer while being mindful of our impact on the planet.In this blog post, we’ll explore creative

Read More »

20 Mother’s Day Stall Gift Ideas for a Successful Event

Are you looking for creative fundraising options and gift ideas for a Mother’s Day stall? You’re in the right place! A Mother’s Day stall is a wonderful way to celebrate mothers and maternal figures while raising funds for a cause or organisation. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a Mother’s Day stall is, what

Read More »
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop


    Price Range
    Price Range - slider