How to build a bee hotel and how do natural bee nests look like ?

Published on: March 28, 2022, Submitted by Stefanie Christmann on: March 23, 2022

30% of all wild bees need cavities for nesting, but old wood and hollow stems get scarce in orchards and monocultures. Therefore, farmers depend more and more on ground-nesting pollinators, while cavity nesting bees shift more and more to forest and semi-natural areas. However, ground-nesting pollinators face high threats during their below-ground life. Beehotels are not costly, you can build them in short time out of old material available at all farms. The video also explains how to promote that ground-nesting pollinators can reproduce on farm. Whereas the need for more floral resources is more known meantime, the lack of nesting material and nesting sites is a widely overseen main reason for pollinator decline. We will circulate a new ISI publication highlighting the urgent need of enhanced environmental governance for ground-nesting pollinators within the next days.

Watch this video and learn step by step from Dr. Patrick Lhomme and the Moroccan farmer Mr Hassan Balbou how to build a bee hotel. You need some old wood, hollow stems for instance from bamboo, mud, a drill, a hammer and some old water bottles. Such bee hotels are very valuable for instance in orchards with early flowering cherry or apple trees. Osmia for instance, a very effective wild bee, which is relatively tolerant to cold, needs cavities for nesting. The shorter the distance between nest and flours, the more time for the pollinator to provide services.

Photo above: If you don’t have much time, drill some holes in a trunk, shift it to the south and add a roof to protect it against rain (photo by Axel Ssymank)

The video also shows you some nests of ground-nesting pollinators and how to promote their successful nesting.

Photo above: Carpenter bees also build nests in wooden electricity pillars (photo by Stefanie Christmann)




ground-nesting pollinators cavity-nesting pollinators


About the author

Stefanie Christmann is Senior scientist, Farming with Alternative Pollinators at International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas - ICARDA.

Related Blogs/Outcome Stories