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Build a Native Bee Habitat from Reclaimed Wood

Build a Native Bee Habitat from Reclaimed Wood

This tutorial was part of Garden Week at Crafting a Green World. We teamed up with some of our favorite DIY bloggers to talk about all things gardening!

We need bees. Native bees and other native pollinators pollinate a huge portion of the food that we eat. Unfortunately, pesticide overuse and habitat destruction are both contributing big-time to something called colony collapse disorder. Native bees and other pollinators are disappearing at an alarming rate, and this simple native bee habitat can help make a difference!

Just nestle this native bee habitat in your yard, making sure that the holes face east or southeast. You want the front to get some morning sun, and you also want to choose a spot that’s semi-protected from weather. Build just one native bee habitat, or nestle a few around your backyard to invite those beneficial insects into your garden.

A Bee-Friendly Garden

This native bee habitat is the first step toward creating a bee-friendly garden. Your bees need a safe place to nest, and there are two other ways that you can make your backyard a bee haven:

1. Avoid pesticides. Pesticides don’t just kill the insects that they’re targeting. They harm native bees and other beneficial insects too. Instead of spraying chemicals, check out this article on finding a way to protect bees and have a thriving garden.

2. Plant pollinator-friendly plants. Bees love certain types of plants, and filling your garden with bee-friendly flora makes it a happy place! Not sure where to start? Try this list of bee-friendly plants!

Native Bee Habitat

Build a Native Bee Habitat

This native bee habitat is something I ran across at the Georgia Organics Conference, and it really stuck with me! When I was trying to decide on some garden-related crafts to do this week, I knew that I wanted to try this! The instructions for this habitat come from an awesome pro-bee group, The Xerces Society. You can see the original pdf with the instructions for this native bee habitat and some other ideas to attract those beneficial pollinators!

Materials

  • leftover scrap wood – Make sure you use untreated wood, and you want something that’s at least 2″X5″X8″
  • drill and wood drill bits – The Xerces document gives a range of sizes, from 3/32″ to 3/8″. I found that a 3/16″ drill bit worked well.

Directions

1. Decide which part of the wood is going to be the front of your native bee habitat. That’s where you’ll drill your holes. You want holes that go in 3-4″ deep if you’re using a drill bit that’s less than 1/4″ in diameter. For holes more than 1/4″ wide, you want to go 5-6″ deep.

2. Get drilling! Space your holes by at least 3/4″ apart. Since I had a narrow block of wood, I just did one row of holes, and I staggered them a bit, because I liked the look of it.

3. You’re almost done! Turn your bee habitat over, so the holes face the ground, and tap out any wood shavings from inside, so your bees will have nice, spacious homes.

4. Nestle your bee habitat in your backyard! Choose a place where the holes can face south or southeast, so they get morning sun. You also want to make sure they location is somewhat sheltered from severe weather.

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We know that buying handmade or making things ourselves is more eco-friendly than shopping at big box stores, but how can we make sure that the crafts we’re making are as green as possible? That’s what Crafting a Green World is all about! From sustainable fabrics and ideas for creative reuse to eco-friendly art supplies and tutorials, we want to help you make your crafty life greener. We feature everything from tutorials and supplies to green crafters and book reviews. Crafting a Green World is your number one resource for organic, natural, and recycled crafty projects, products, media, and businesses. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

69 comments

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10:05AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Thank you.

9:44AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Definitely make sure the wood you use is untreated!

2:06AM PDT on May 2, 2014

thanks

7:55AM PDT on Apr 30, 2014

Great idea...and a grat addition to the garden. I think even I can manage this! Cheers

5:10PM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

This is a good idea! A little easier than making the little bee houses with bamboo cuttings.

11:59AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

thank you.

5:04AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Thanks for sharing!!

4:25PM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

I have just read the attached PDF, I may try to make a Bumble Bee box too :-)

2:08PM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

9:16PM PDT on Apr 22, 2014

Im glad that people are slowly learning the importance of bees. This is a clever little project. Would be a good idea to put them in parks and forests. You could also put them a little out of the way so they wont be disturbed or affect people with allergies.

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