NC State Extension Publications


Making space for wood- and stem-nesting bees in home landscapes, parks, and gardens

Table of Contents

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  1. What is a Bee Hotel?

    1. The Benefits of Bees
    2. Native Bees Are Effective Pollinators
    3. Pollination in Cities and Towns
    4. How Bee Hotels Can Support Native Bees
    5. Who Lives in a Bee Hotel?
    6. How Bees and Wasps Use a Hotel
  2. Meet the Residents

    1. Family Megachilidae
      1. Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria)
      2. Other Mason Bees (Genus Osmia)
      3. Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee (Megachile rotundata)
      4. Other Megachile
      5. Wool Carder Bees (Anthidium)
      6. Hoplitis and Heriades
      7. Chelostoma philadelphi
      8. Coelioxys
      9. Stelis
    2. Family Colletidae
      1. Yellow-faced Bees (Hylaeus)
    3. Family Apidae
      1. Solitary Wasps
      2. Mason Wasps
      3. Grass-carrying Wasps
      4. Square-headed Wasps
  3. Bee Hotel Design and Placement

    1. Materials for Nest Tunnels
    2. Tunnel Size
    3. Shelter and Protection
    4. Shade and Orientation
    5. Navigation Aids
    6. Other Landscape Features
    7. Cleaning and Maintenance
  4. What if Bee Hotels Aren't Actually Good for Bees?

  5. Appendix 1. Bee hotel checklist

  6. Appendix 2. Plants with leaves and fibers used as construction materials in the nest interior

  7. Appendix 3. Plants that produce hollow or pithy twigs and stems used by nesting bees in eastern North America

  8. Appendix 4. Building plans for a simple bee hotel shelter

    1. Materials
    2. Lumber Specifications
    3. Cuts
    4. Assembly Overview
    5. Assembly Steps
  9. Appendix 5. Additional resources

    1. Books about Bees, Wasps, and Pollinator Gardening
    2. Lists of Pollen and Nectar Plants for North Carolina
    3. Video Footage of Nest Interior
    4. Commercial Suppliers of Bee Hotel Materials
    5. Citizen Science with Bee Hotels
  10. References

decorative photos of a drilled block bee hotel (left) and cross section of a hollowed stem nest interior

Photo: Jonathan Giacomini (left), Elsa Youngsteadt (right)


Skip to References

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Assistant Professor & Extension Urban Ecology Specialist
Applied Ecology
Local Foods Coordinator - Local Foods

Publication date: July 6, 2022

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