Are you looking for a bee house that will attract bees?
Here’s the truth:
I had to look at about THIRTY different designs to find the SEVEN that I recommend below!
- Related: 22 PROVEN Flowers That Attract BEES!
The problem is that most bee houses are made cheaply without much regard to how these pollinators act in nature. The homes look great in your flower garden, but unfortunately, they won’t help any bees!
So, below you will find designs that are both attractive AND useful for bees.
Before we begin, did you know bee houses or designed to attract Mason Bees, Leafcutter Bees, and other solitary pollinators? Don’t buy a bee house if you think you are going to find honeybees inside making honey! Learn more about what insects are attracted to bee houses HERE –> Bee Houses 101: Where to buy & how to use them!
The 7 BEST Bee Houses for your Yard:
This beautiful nesting house provides many benefits to the bees in your backyard.
First, it includes eight removable pine trays that have been routed to provide nesting cavities for bees. Since the trays are easily removed, you can clean thoroughly after each season and harvest the cocoons.
- Dimensions are 11.5 “H x 5.5 “W x 7.5 “D. This bee house provides nesting cavities that are deep enough to attract Mason Bees, which prefer nesting cavities that are over 5 inches in length!
- Many bee houses you can buy are made cheaply and not durable. You should not have that problem with this house. It’s made exceptionally well and should last for years.
- Attach it to the side of a building, barn, or post by using screws.
Lastly, I love how this bee house looks, and it makes a beautiful and entertaining addition to any garden.
Crown Bees was started to help and promote native bees, such as Mason and Leafcutter. They make this bee house and the next one (#3).
I like that all of the products offered by Crown Bees are designed FOR BEES, not to look pretty in your garden. Unfortunately, most bee houses you see for sale are cheap products with many design flaws and they don’t actually help solitary bees.
With that being said, here are some of the ways that the Crown Bees Native Bee Station is irresistible to bees in your yard!
- The 60 tubes are made of natural reeds, which are easier to open to access the cocoons when compared to bamboo and drilled blocks of wood. In addition, the varying hole sizes (4mm-10mm) should appeal to a few different bee species, such as Mason and Leafcutter.
- The tubes are not glued to the back of the house, so you can easily remove them to inspect, clean, or replace them.
- The dimensions are 5.5″ H x 5.5″ W x 10″ D. As you can see, the tubes are incredibly long (10 inches!), which is perfect for bees.
- The house includes a hole in the back, which allows you to mount it to a post or tree securely.
If you want to provide a nesting place for multiple species of native bees, then this “Wild Bee Motel” is just the product you need!
First, it includes over 100 tubes made from natural reeds and paper. These tubes come in varying sizes, from 4mm to 8mm wide. Some of the species you can expect are Mason Bees, Leafcutter Bees, and some solitary beneficial wasps.
If you look at the picture above, you can also see untreated wood blocks on the right. Those are for carpenter bees, who prefer to make their nesting cavity by chewing their way through wood! Carpenter bees pollinate many vegetables that appear in your garden, like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
The dimensions are 10″ H x 10″ W x 9″ D.
This relatively small house is designed only for Mason Bees. That’s because the paper tubes are all 8mm (5/16 inch). Leafcutter Bees prefer a smaller diameter (6mm) for their nesting cavity.
The tubes are not attached permanently to the back of the house, and they should be replaced every year if possible.
The dimensions are 5″ H x 5.5″ W x 7.2″ D.
- Most native solitary bees prefer nesting cavities at least 5 inches deep, so this house barely makes the cut at 7 inches.
The house doesn’t include any pre-drilled holes or hardware to hang. So you will need to drill your own screws through the wood and into the side of a tree, post, or building.
I love the sturdy, weatherproof design of the Insect Hotel!
As you can see, there are plenty of cardboard tubes for mason and leafcutter bees. This bee house also has a section for butterflies!
Like most bee houses, the nesting tubes are removable. Therefore, you can buy replacement tubes each year.
The mounting hardware is pre-installed on the back, making it easy to hang on a tree trunk or post. And, because of the flat base and heavy solid wood, you can set this bee house on a solid surface if you don’t want to hang it.
The dimensions are 11.81″ H x 6.69″ W x 7.67″ D.
- The bee house fits nesting tubes 5.9″ long, making them suitable for mason bees.
If you want a bee house that’s perfect for a beginner, this is the one for you!
It’s small, sturdy, and low-maintenance. Plus, the cute honeycomb shape would look great in any garden!
Two mounting hooks on the back will keep the bee house stable in windy weather. The overhang of the roof will protect the nests from rain.
The waxed pine frame holds removable reed nesting tubes, which look like bamboo. However, unlike bamboo, they’re smaller, easier to open, and won’t mold.
The dimensions are 6.1″ H x 6.1″ W x 7.7″ D.
#7. DIY bee house plans!
Luckily, it’s not hard to build your own bee house!
#1. Wood Log Bee House
One simple idea is to make a nesting site out of a cross-section of wood.
- Cut a cross-section of a log that is at least 6 inches long.
- Drill holes into the trunk in various widths, 4mm – 8mm.
- You can put cardboard or reed tubes inside the holes if you want to reuse the log!
#2. Square Wooden Bee House
You could also build a small wooden house and fill it with tubes.
- Assemble a simple house with wood boards. The measurements for the wood pieces are:
- 5″ x 5″ – 2 pieces
- 4 3/4″ – 1 piece
- 6″ – 1 piece
- 5 3/4″ – 1 piece
- Attach mounting hardware of your choice to the back of the house.
- Fill the house with reed or cardboard bee nesting tubes.
See the video below for a visual. (Replace the bamboo tubes with reeds or paper!)
#3. Coffee Can Bee House
I thought this was a great way to upcycle some trash into a bee house!
- Punch a hole in the back of your coffee can for moisture drainage.
- Arrange bee nesting tubes and wood blocks tightly in the can.
- Attach a bracket for hanging your bee house.
Here are some suggestions if you make this bee house:
- Use cardboard or reed tubes, not bamboo, for the nesting tubes.
- Try leaving your wood blocks undrilled. You may attract carpenter bees, another important pollinator!
As you can probably imagine, there are tons of different DIY bee house ideas on the internet. To keep searching for more projects, I recommend searching on Pinterest or YouTube!
Let us know which product you think is the BEST bee house?
Tell us about it in the comments!