How To Build A Bee House
To build a Bee House, you will need the following materials:
- At least 2 feet of 4″x4″ untreated fir lumber
- a power drill
- chicken-wire mesh
We first cut lengths of untreated fir that were 4″x4″ to a little over a foot. I would recommend having them at least a foot to allow multiple bees to lay eggs. In the Bee House pictured, the cuts are at a 45 degree angle on one end.
Draw a grid spacing the holes about 1”-1.5” apart. We used a drill to bore each hole at least 4” deep. Deeper is fine and up to 7” works. The face of this is sanded to remove any marking from the grid outline.
To make things simple and decorative, I bought pre-made fence caps that we screwed onto the top of each house to make a “roof.” To make the house look more polished, we made “bungs” that are essentially small pieces of wood that get hammered into the top of the hole where the screw goes. This then all gets sanded and use an air gun to blow out any debris from inside the holes and on the exterior.
It is recommended to cover the holes with a piece of chicken wire mesh to keep birds from feasting on the eggs of the bees.
Mason bees are solitary bees that lay eggs into holes in wood. Each egg is a male or female. Upon hatching, the male fertilizes the female and then expires. The female goes on to feed on the pollen of flowers, which helps pollinate various plants. She will then lay eggs when ready and the cycle will repeat itself.
Mason bees do not produce honey, but they are every part as vital in pollination as honey bees and other pollinators are. (And as anyone reading this knows, pollination keeps the world turning.)
To provide a house for such bees is helpful if you are trying to attract pollinators to your gardens.
Bee Houses can be attached to fences, posts, or anywhere off the ground– plus they’re a fun project to do with anyone of any age.
The entire process takes about 2-3 hours. Place in the garden and you’re good to go!