How to make your own bee hotel – the best way to welcome bees to gardens

Fashion the best AirBeeNBee on the block

Welcome wildlife into your garden to embrace a deeper appreciation for nature. Start with the most important of all, beloved bees – without who we'd be lost.

Follow this simple stey-by-step guide on how to make a bee hotel, to ensure your bees have the best home in town.

For all creatures: Wildlife garden ideas – how to turn an outdoor space into a haven for wildlife

How to make a bee hotel – in 5 simple steps

wooden pallet bug house

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

What you’ll need

1 old wooden pallet
A hand saw
Three flat head nails
Paint and paint brush
Collection of straw, pine cones, hessian, jute, natural dried grasses, cut bamboo etc.
Fine mesh chicken wire
8-10 metal pins
Wire clippers
Fixing bracket, drill and screws

Step 1. Saw off the end of the pallet using a hand saw.

Step 2. Lever off one of the planks from the discarded pallet and nail to the back of the cut section. Creating an open fronted box with two long slots.

Step 3. Lightly sand the pallet, to soften any ragged edges. Be sure to dust off after sanding with a clean, dry brush. Paint with two coats of specialist paint – here we've used Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback.

Step 4. Once dry fill each slot with natural materials.

Step 5. Cut a length of chicken wire to cover the open front and hammer in small staples to keep in place. Trim to size. Fix bracket to the back, hang off a fence and wait for the bugs to set up home in their new bug hotel.

Planting for bees

pink flower

(Image credit: Future PLC/Annaick Guitteny)

The plight of the bee was greatly acknowledged at last year’s RHS Chelsea flower Show. With the help of the McQueens 'Per Oculus Apum'. The garden cleverly used UV paint on the flowers – to show how bees see flowers in ultra-violet.

The installation aimed to educate visitors on the crucial role that bees play, producing a third of the food we eat! The garden emphasised the importance of nurturing the bee population, encouraging us to join the campaign to save bees in our own gardens.

So another key way for inviting bees to your garden is planting more blue and violet flowers.

Related: Greenhouse ideas – traditional and new ways to use your garden glass house

It's World Bee Day on May 20th, what a way to help them celebrate eh.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.