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Create a Simple Bee Hotel

 

You will need:

• Hollow plant stems, like bamboo canes, reeds or brambles 

• A handful of sticks or twigs

• Household or garden string or thick cotton

How to make:

1) Collect hollow stems, twigs and sticks about 20cm in length.

2) Tie them tightly in 2 or 3 places to make one bunch.

3) Hang or place this in a sheltered, dry spot - for example, post into a bush or hang from somewhere nice.

Please Note: Keep an eye on the hotel, not only is it exciting, but you may need to replace stems annually (After Spring, which is hatching time), this helps to keep the hotel free of parasites and disease.

 

 

Make a Five-Star Bee Hotel

 

You will need:

• A small / medium sized plant pot (terracotta looks great)

• Hollow plant stems, like bamboo canes, reeds or brambles 

• A handful of sticks or twigs

• Garden string or raffia (raffia and terracotta is a good effect)

• Modelling clay

• Secateurs / clippers

How to make:

1) Collect hollow stems, twigs and sticks, cut them so that they will just poke out of the plant pot.

2) Push the clay into the bottom of the pot.

3) Push the hollow stems firmly into the clay, one at a time until the pot is packed tightly.

 

4) You can use a larger pot and place warm material around the inside of the plant pot if you want to, or fill gaps with natural material such as straw or moss.

5) Wrap the garden string or raffia around the pot several times, when you hold it up the pot should be on its side so that rain cannot drip directly in the stems.

6) Hang or place this in a sheltered, dry spot - post into a bush or hang from somewhere nice.

 

 

How do you know when bees have moved in?

When your hollow stems look like they are filled with mud, leaves and various small pieces of material.

If the stems are full to the end, next spring as many as 10 baby bees could pop out ready to help your plants, flowers and vegetables - and you will have done a brilliant job. Well done.

 

 

Why is it important to help bees?

There are more than 270 types of bee in the United Kingdom (a 'type' is called a species). There are over 20,000 species of bee in the world. This sounds like a lot of different bees, but they need your help, they need places to live and flowers to gather pollen and nectar from.

The bees that will live in these hotels are called Solitary Bees. This doesn't mean that they are lonely bees, just that they are a type of bee that doesn't live in a large group, like honey bees. Solitary bees can be incredibly effective pollinators, by helping these bees they help our flowers by pollinating them. Whilst they are gathering pollen, they are also taking pollen from one flower to another flower, this helps the plants produce seeds that can grow into more plants and more flowers. Without the bees the plants would find it a lot more difficult to create seeds and we would have fewer plants, flowers and vegetables. Bees are incredibly important for our world and we need to look after them. 

Solitary bees are smaller than honey bees and bumble bees, they are not dangerous and will not deliberately sting. If anyone is stung, most stings are harmless and will get better within a couple of hours, if you are uncertain, there is a very good NHS guide here.