Wild bees can be observed wonderfully in your own garden or on the balcony. A "bee hotel" is a great opportunity to attract the insects and offer them a habitat.

How you can easily build such a bee hotel yourself or what you should pay attention to when buying a bee hotel you will find out on this page.

The better the requirements of these insects are taken into account when building the bee housing the more bees will move in.


Hollow plant stems

Hollow plant stems (bamboo, reed, dock, acanthus, angelica, knotweed, ...) with a diameter of 2-10 mm and a length of 8-20 cm.

Important: the end of the stems should not be closed - cut the stems behind the knot (thick part) if possible so the end has a natural finish.

Hardwood block

Take a dry piece of hardwood (e.g. oak, ash, beech) and drill holes of different widths with a 3-10 mm diameter. It is always best to drill crosswise to the annual rings. The little corridors should reach 5-12 mm deep into the wood and be closed at the back. Smooth out the edges of the holes so no splinters block the entrance.

Important: Do not use softwood! As soon as the bees crawl in backwrads their delicate wings get caught and they hurt themselves. If pine wood gets wet the moisture gets drawn into the interior so that the wood swells and the brood would rot.

Myelinated plant stems

Tie myelinated plant stems (elderberry, raspberry, mulberry, thistle, rose...) into bundles.

You can also put up the stems vertically.


Clay is available in most handicraft shops or DIY superstores. The holes can be pressed in with knitting needels, nails or other things with a similar diameter. After a few days you should check the holes one more time and turn the objects you used a few times.

Grid bricks have holes that are too big for wild bees but they can be converted into a nesting aid for wild bees very easily by pressing loam or clay into the large gaps and then poking suitable holes in the loam/ clay and letting it dry.


Bee hotel

The individual parts can now be combined in a wooden box.

The box should be protected from rain with e.g. a roof and it should be installed in a sunny place. A location with lots of sun in the morning (south-east orientation) is optimal so that the bees get warmed up in the morning and can start looking for food.

It actually takes a while for animals todiscover and adapt to their new habitat.

NO pine cones

No pine cones, fir cone or spruce cone - they are no magnet for wild bees that are looking for a home.

Cones are cheap and need a lot of space. That is why they are often used in finished insect hotels. However wild bees can not do anything with it.

NO straw

Straw is also cheap and needs a lot of space which is why it is often used in insect hotels.

It does offer accomandation but for earwigs and they are pollen thieves!

That means that using straw invites enemies into the direct neighbourhood that steal pollen collected by wild bees and therefore deprive the brood of food.

Photo credits

Bee on flower: Barbara P. Meister, bee in bamboo stem: Viktoria Michel, hardwood block: Ulrike Mai, elder: Ralph, clay: Viktoria Michel, bee hotel: Ralph, pine cone: Luetho, straw in bee hotel: Munki