Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Build a Bee House

You might wonder why you would want to attract bees to your yard. These bee houses are built for mason bees, which rarely sting but are great pollinators. They also do not drill holes in wood like carpenter bees.

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 12 and up
Approximate Cost: Under $10
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Board (scrap lumber is perfect, untreated wood)
  • Drill and drill bits (1/8 up to 3/8”)
  • Drill bit - 5/16ths of an inch or similar creates a hole that attracts Mason bees
  • Hammer and a few nails, or screw and screwdriver
  • Plastic band (optional, but an easy way to mount your bee house to a fence or post)
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Saw (hand saw or power saw)
  • Untreated wood, such as a short log or a chunk of firewood
Cut the wood pieces.

Cut the log to a length you'd like, that will fit in the location where you intend to hang it. Approximately one foot tall is a good length.

Cut the flat board into a square shape that is the same size as one end of your log. This is to provide something of a "roof" on the bee house.


Drill holes in the log.

Drill holes into one side of the log. Make them about 4 inches (10 cm) deep and about ½ inch (1½ cm) apart. If you use a drill bit that is about 5/16th of an inch wide, you will attract Mason bees. Mason bees rarely sting.


Make the roof.
Nail or screw on the roof to the top of the log. This will make a roof that will keep rain from running into the holes.
Place house outside.

Set the house on a fencepost, a tree stump, or another stable location. Look for a place that gets morning sun and shade the rest of the day.

If your log is not too wide around, you can use a plastic clasp to hold it in place against your fence.

Be sure to never spray insecticides near your bee house. If your neighbor uses insecticides, mount your bee house far from their property.

If you need to move your bee house, try to do this after November.


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