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Create a bee and beneficial insect hotel

12 Jan 2022

Beneficial insects such as ladybirds, lacewings, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, praying mantis, spiders, dragonflies, lacewings, various beetles, solitary bees such as leafcutters and bumble bees are a gardener’s best friend. Not only do they eat bad pests such as aphids, thrips and some caterpillars, but they help with breaking down organic matter in the soil and as well as pollination. One of the ways to attract these garden helpers to your backyard is by creating a bug hotel for these insects to make nests.

You will need:

  • Resene Waterborne Woodsman in Resene Skywater
  • 4m length of treated dressed pine 140mm wide
  • Mitre saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Masking tape
  • Nail gun or electric drill and screws
  • Marine plywood
  • Cloth
  • Lengths of bamboo, small logs, bark


Step 1: Set a mitre saw to a cutting angle of 30 degrees and cut your length of wood into 6 equal lengths so that the long side of the finished board is 23cm long.  Use sandpaper to remove any rough edges. 

Step 2: Use wood glue to glue your hexagon together.  Use masking tape to hold the pieces in place. Once the glue is dry, use a nail gun or an electric drill and screws to secure the corners together.

Step 3: Cut a piece of marine ply to fit the back of the hexagon and nail or screw this into place. 


Step 4: With a soft cloth, rub on Resene Woodsman stain.  We used the colour Resene Skywater and applied two coats.  The colour gets darker with the more coats applied.


Step 5: Drill a hole in the back of the plywood for hanging the bee hotel up.

Cut lengths of bamboo, small logs/branches into 14cm lengths.  Drill holes in the ends of the logs to create extra homes for bees.  Drill a variety of hole sizes varying between 8mm and 10mm. Fill the hexagon with the cut bamboo and wood.  You can also include bits of bark.  Hang the hotel in a warm sunny position, as least a metre off the ground and where it will be sheltered from rain. 

Project and images: Fleur Thorpe

Published: 12 Jan 2022