How to Install a Bee Hotel Properly

How to Install a Bee Hotel Properly

Did you know that you could be doing more harm than good by installing a bee hotel incorrectly?

Studies show that a third of bee hotels remain empty, and contain bugs, parasites and the wrong types of bees. Some supermarket hotels even spread diseases and injure our fuzzy friends!

Wait, so do all bees use bee hotels?

No, bee hotels are there to attract non-aggressive, solitary bees considered pet/child-friendly by the RSPB, including mason, yellow-faced and leafcutter bees.

Learning to properly install these hotels drastically supports the solitary bee population.

So let's do it right!

South-Facing Homes

Bees, like us, love windows in a south/southeast direction for extra warmth during the colder months. The sun also helps them know when to hibernate, wake and get buzzy working.

Find a spot that gets sunny at about 10 am.

Keep it High

1-1.5 Metres above the ground is the perfect bee-hotel height.

This keeps it away from bugs, predators and dog noses, and any foliage that blocks entry to the nesting tubes. We suggest adding chicken wire too as birds have been known to feast on bee hotels. You can get this cheaply at most hardware stores.

Bees Don't Like to Swing

To avoid disrupting your bee residents, ensure your hotel is securely fastened to a wall or fence using screws/nails.

This prevents any eggs from getting crushed by the pollen that the female bee nestles around her egg or the egg getting separated from its first feed.

The Ideal Nesting Tubes

Having the correct nesting tubes are one of the core parts of bee welfare.

Make sure they are:

  • Replaceable

Solitary bees will only use tubes once for laying eggs, so you must replace them to prevent diseases from spreading as well as parasites, mites and other lethal issues with non-removable tubes. Having a removable back to your hotel will further stop unwanted pests from getting in.

Look to replace the nesting tubes at least once every 2 years.

We'll give more detail about replacing nesting tubes in our next bee-tastic blog so keep your antennas out!

  • Clean and Tidy

The hotel needs to have nesting tubes without cracks or splits and tidy tube ends. These can catch and damage a bee's wings.

  • 150mm Long

The longer the tube, the more of the right types of bees can be added to a population.

They also need to be long enough for the females to be laid at the back and the males at the opening of the nesting tubes. Otherwise, you can only get male bees being laid and the female bees percentage being too low.

  • Sheltered

Rain causes mould and bacterial growth. Make sure that you place the hotel under an overhanging roof.

Also, place the hotel in a sheltered place in the colder months. Just remember to leave a window open and move it back outside again in March to let your new baby bees out.

It is a bee hotel of course so give them the best stay!

installing a bee hotel using beevive checklistInstalling a bee hotel using beevive checklist.

You can find out more information on how bee hotels work here or check out our bee hotels that have the correct tubes, backs and sustainable materials.

Thank you for hosting our solitary bees well!

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