How to build a bee condo

With the rapid decline of bees, maybe it’s time we all stepped up to lend a hand. Helping to protect an insect that’s responsible for pollinating a third of the world’s food supply is no small deed. But contributing is simple indeed.

One of the easiest ways we know to get involved in bringing back native bees and aiding the repopulation of bee colonies is to build your own backyard bee condo.

These nesting blocks, coined condos, are sweet little spots for bees to hunker down. Rather than burrowing in soil, which they like to do, or building a hive in a dead tree, bees that find a comfy condo may nest right in your backyard, patio or garden, helping the native plants around your outdoor space continue to reproduce in a sustainable way.

Bee houses are simple to make and give everyone—even kids—a way to get involved in the bigger cause of bee education and proliferation. A typical bee condo consists of a wooden structure with holes or stacked bamboo reeds of varying sizes.

But there are a variety of ways to make a bee condo. Some use simple natural materials available right outside; others are slick kits that you can purchase with all the items you need to make a statement condo.

Check out the below links to see what will work best for you and your outdoor space.

Images showing a variety of bee condo styles
For visual learners, a few YouTube takes on bee condos
The U.S. Forest Service’s homemade bee condo instructions
Extensive nesting block resources from UC Berkley’s Urban Bee Lab
Crafty kid-friendly bee condo from the National Wildlife Federation

Fancy bug and bee hotel made from a kit

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