Illustration of bees in a repeating pattern
Photograph of a bee hotel tucked into garden

How To Build A Bee Hotel

How To Build A Bee Hotel

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)
• Handsaw
• Electric Drill
• Heavy-duty string or plastic twine
• Metal hook, branch, or wall hanging for fixing

Man's hands measuring a section of drainpipe using a yellow tape measure

1. Measure and mark 200mm (8in) from one end of the plastic drainpipe. Cut the pipe to size using a handsaw.

Man's hands sawing a section of bamboo on the edge of an outdoor table

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.

Man's hands using a drill to create a small hole in the section of drainpipe

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.

Man's hands threading thin rope through the holes in the drainpipe

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.

Sections of bamboo being placed inside the drainpipe

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.

Bee hotel, sections of bamboo inside a section of drainpipe, hanging from a tree in the sunshine

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. 

Buy the book

Buy the book

The Bee Book The Bee Book

The Bee Book shows you step-by-step how to create a bee-friendly garden, get started in beekeeping, and Read more

The Bee Book shows you Read more


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