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How to Make Bee House DIY

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Learn how to make a bee house to give bees a shelter and safe space for breeding.  This is an easy and inexpensive bamboo bee house that can hang in your yard.  This is a great DIY idea for kids and makes a wonderful addition to a homeschool curriculum or use to supplement learning.


When we moved to the farm eight years ago, one thing we wanted to do was get bee hives.  I use honey in my DIY beauty recipes and in cooking, and we thought it would be fun to have bees and get our own honey.


But between picking up fallen trees after each gust of wind, gardening, taking care of animals, and general life, the bee hives just haven't happened.  Yet.


Thankfully, I get get local raw honey fairly cheap, so I have a good supply of that.  However, our bees do need space to live and bee houses.  





Learn how to make a bee hotel to give bees a safe place to breed.  Mason bees fill the bee house DIY with larva in the spring, and the mature bees emerge the following spring.  


How to Make Bee House DIY


Why Are Bees Important?


Bees are essential to the ecosystem all over the world.  They are the insect responsible for the most pollination for flowers and for food crops.  By some estimates, up to one-third of the food we eat needs bees for pollination.


Other insects, some birds, and bats also pollinate.  However, bee populations are on the decline all over the world.  There are various causes for this, but we need to take action now to protect these invaluable insects.


Bees help pollinate vegetables for our food.  They also pollinate crops that are used for oils and also for feed for animals.  


Bees also pollinate flax and cotton, so without bees, clothing and fabric could become scarce.  Bees also produce beeswax, which is used in candles, cleaning products, and beauty products.


If you can't have a backyard hive, then make a mason bee house DIY to encourage bees to live on your property.  If we all work together, we can save the bees.


If you're planting a garden this year, pick up my printable gardening planner.  Print it as many times as you'd like, so you can create a planner to use year after year for a better yield.


Do Bees Really Use Bee Houses?


Yes, bees do use a bamboo beehive.  However, it's important to use the right kind and maintain it.  It should also be placed in a good location.  





What Kind of Bees Live in Bee Houses?


Honeybees do not live in a bamboo bee house, so you won't collect any honey from your bee house DIY.  Instead, you'll learn how to make a bee hotel for solitary species of bees.  


Solitary bees are docile, so there's less risk of stinging.  They are also excellent pollinators and can pollinate up to three times more than a honeybee.


This bamboo beehive is likely to attract miner bees, leafcutter bees, and mason bees.  


Do Bee Houses Attract Wasps?


Yes, your bamboo beehive can attract wasps.  It's very likely that wasps will use it as a home as well.


Is Bamboo Bad for Mason Bees?


Bamboo is not bad for mason bees.  However, dirty or damp bamboo in a bamboo bee houses can lead to pollen mites that can kill bee larva because it east the pollen leaf before the larva can eat.  


Dirty bamboo can also lead to a fungus called chalkbrood.  Chalkbrood can spread quickly through the bamboo bee house because of the small holes.


For these reasons, it's imperative that you take care of your mason bee house DIY.  More on that below.





Where Should You Hang a Bee House?


You should place your bee house DIY against a flat surface where it will be protected from high winds.  The front of the bamboo beehive should face the south or southeast for maximum sun exposure to keep the bees warm.


How Do Bees Use a Bamboo Bee House?


First, the bees will mate.  Then the female places the eggs inside the bamboo tubes of the bamboo bee house.  The eggs are kept separated with pollen and nectar.  


Then the female places a plug made of mud in the bamboo tube.  She repeats this with more eggs then nectar and pollen then mud plugs until the bamboo tube is full.  


In the spring, mature bees will come out of the tubes.  


The females are in the bamboo tubes first and then the males.  This is so the males can emerge first, protecting the females to boost the species chances of survival. 


For this reason, 6 inch long bamboo tubes are the optimal length.  Shorter tubes will not allow for the females to be behind the males.


Which Direction Should a Bee Hotel Face?


A bamboo bee house should face the south or southeast.  This allows more sun to hit it to make it warmer.





How High Should a Mason Bee House Be Placed?


Hang your bee house DIY about six to seven feet off of the ground.  You should try to hang it below and eave or under other shelter to protect it from rain and the weather.  


How Do You Attract Bees to a Bee House?


Once you learn how to make a bee hotel, you'll want to attract bees to it.  You can do this by placing a bee feeder near it.  The bees will also like having a source of mud nearby to make the plugs.  


If you don't have mud nearby, you can use mason bee clay.  Simply add water for a clay that's suitable for this bee house DIY.


When Should You Hang a Bee House?


Put your mason bee house DIY outside in the spring.  When the flowers start to blossom, it's a good time to hang up the bamboo beehive.  


Be sure not to put out your bamboo bee house until there's a small chance of frost.  


How Do You Maintain a Bee House?


As long as your bee house DIY stays dry, there is little maintenance to do.  Make sure the house is protected from the rain and wind.  


For best results, place it in a sunny location so fungus and bacteria don't grow inside.


What Do You Do With a Mason Bee House in the Winter?


There are some beekeepers who do help the cocoons over the winter.  However, I do not consider myself experienced enough to advise on this.  


I take a hands off let nature do its thing approach.  I do not touch my mason bee house DIY  during the winter.





How to Clean a Bamboo Bee House


You can use this bamboo beehive for one year.  Once it gets too dirty for the bees to use, they will not use it for breeding.


You can clean the bamboo tubes between seasons.  However, I just make a new bee house DIY each year.


If you build a frame for yours, you can simply replace the bamboo and reuse the frame


Mason Bee House DIY Tips


Use these tips when you learn how to make a bee hotel:


  • Mount the bamboo bee house under an eave or other location to protect it from water. It should be 6 to 7 feet off the ground.
  • The bamboo beehive should face the south or southeast so it receives maximum sunlight.  This keeps it warm so the larva do not get too cold.
  • Place the mason bee house DIY within 200 feet of a source of nectar because mason bees will not travel far.
  • Bees need mud for the plugs, so make sure there is a source of mud near the bamboo bee house.
  • If you have a lot of birds, especially woodpeckers, place chicken write with 3/4 inch or smaller holes over the bee house DIY.  
  • Bees need water and a food source.  After you learn how to make a bee house, learn how to make a bee feeder.

 

Bamboo Bee House Supplies


To learn how to make a bee house, you will need:





How Do You Make a Bee House Out of Bamboo?


Learn how to make a mason bee house:


Step #1


Mark off every 6 inches on the bamboo pieces.  If you use a 6 food piece of bamboo, you can get 12 pieces of bamboo for a bamboo bee house.  Use a saw to cut the bamboo into 6 inch sections.





Step #2


Unwrap some twine and run it under the cut pieces of bamboo.  Then tie the twine back onto itself to make a tight bundle of bamboo pieces.  


Wrap the twine around the bundle several times.  Make sure the bamboo pieces are tight.  Cut the end of the twine and tie the two pieces together.





Step #3


Measure about 12 inches of twine.  Fold and double it, then double it again until you have four strands that are about 12 inches long.  Cut off the rest of the twine.  Tie those pieces together at the ends with the two end pieces.





Step #4


Tuck the twine under the wrapped twine on the bundle.  Pull it through so you have twine coming out of both ends.  Loop it back around and pull it through itself in order to hang your mason bee house DIY.





Now you know how to make a mason bee house!  This is perfect for kids to make to learn more about bees.


Want to have a bamboo bee house but not ready to DIY?  You can buy one on on Amazon or on Etsy.  You can also buy a mason bee house kit to make your own.


diy, bee house, mason bee, beehive, bee habitat
Yield: 1 bee house
Author: Cari @ Everything Pretty
Estimated cost: $10

How to Make Bee House DIY

prep time: 15 Mperform time: 30 Mtotal time: 45 M
How to make a bamboo bee house for mason bees.

materials:

  • 18 Feet Bamboo Stakes
  • Marker
  • Natural Twine

tools:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Hand Saw/Knife (or power saw)
  • Scissors

steps:

  1. Mark off every 6 inches on the bamboo pieces. If you use a 6 food piece of bamboo, you can get 12 pieces of bamboo for a bamboo bee house. Use a saw to cut the bamboo into 6 inch sections.
  2. Unwrap some twine and run it under the cut pieces of bamboo. Then tie the twine back onto itself to make a tight bundle of bamboo pieces.
  3. Wrap the twine around the bundle several times. Make sure the bamboo pieces are tight. Cut the end of the twine and tie the two pieces together.
  4. Measure about 12 inches of twine. Fold and double it, then double it again until you have four strands that are about 12 inches long. Cut off the rest of the twine. Tie those pieces together at the ends with the two end pieces.
  5. Tuck the twine under the wrapped twine on the bundle. Pull it through so you have twine coming out of both ends. Loop it back around and pull it through itself in order to hang your mason bee house DIY.
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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, and several chickens. She loves Gilmore Girls, glitter, coffee, and her kids. But not in that order.

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