Attract Solitary Mason Bees to Your Yard With a DIY Bee House

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Making a modern bee house is a sweet summer project and a great way to encourage more bees to pollinate your garden. This cute wooden house is designed to attract solitary mason bees who love to nest in pre-existing holes rather than hives. They're not an aggressive species as they're not guarding honey, so are a welcome addition to our neighborhoods.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Before we start, it's worth noting that painting your bee house may make it look pretty but it could deter bees from using it as they won't like the scent. However, we think the charm of untreated wood has its own Scandi appeal and it's the perfect way to use up any scrap wood you may have laying around in your shed or garage.

Things You'll Need

Step 1

Cut your untreated lumber into 4-by-12-inch pieces with a handsaw (or have your local hardware store cut to wood pieces to size for you.)

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 2

Sandwich the four pieces of wood together with a layer of wood glue between each piece.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 3

Clamp them together for a few hours while the glue cures.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 4

On the first row, mark the first drill point 2 1/2 inches from the top in the center. Then make the following marks at 4 inches, 5 1/2 inches, 7 inches, 8 1/2 inches, and 10-inches. (We're drilling through the sides of the wood, not through the glue.)

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 5

On the second row, mark the first drill point 1 1/2 inches from the top in the center. Then make the next mark points at 3 inches, 4 1/2 -inches, 6 inches, 7 1/2 inches, 9 inches, and 10 1/2 inches.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 6

Repeat the same drill measurements you made on the first row onto the third row.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 7

Repeat the same measurements from the second row onto the fourth row.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 8

Drill the bee holes you've marked with a 3/4-inch spade bit. You don't need to drill through to the other side of the house — about 3/4 of the way through should suffice.

Periodically remove the drill bit as you drill to release the sawdust and stop it compacting in the hole.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 9

To mount the roof apply wood glue all along the top of the bee house.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Step 10

Place the 4-inch-by-8-inch wood piece (the roof) onto the glue and clamp it in place while it dries.

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Hang in your garden for the bees to enjoy!

Image Credit: Caroline Burke

Content creator and brand new mum, Caroline studied fine art before launching her blog burkatron which has been an outlet for her love of DIY and design ever since!

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