This quick-reference list summarizes the best practices suggested throughout the document.
- Nesting tunnels of breathable materials, not plastic or glass
- All tunnels have smooth entrances, free of splinters
- Paper and cardboard tubes used only as liners in sturdier tunnels
- Total number of tunnels in a bee hotel under 100
- Nesting tunnel diameters 5/64″–1/2″
- Nesting tunnel lengths around 6″ (3″–8″ is reasonable and other lengths could be good for some species)
- Tunnel entrances spaced about 3/4″ apart, perhaps with contrasting color patterns or 3D configuration
- Tunnels are in a shelter that overhangs the nest entrances by a couple of inches
- Shelter floor has drain holes
- If (and only if) birds, rodents, or other predators become a problem, a sheet of chicken wire goes over the nest entrances
- Shelter is about 5 feet off the ground
- Tunnel entrances are intentionally oriented relative to sun and wind; facing southeast is often recommended
- Nesting blocks or reeds are staggered by about 3/4″ so that not all nest entrances are in the same plane
- The shelter itself, or the fronts of nesting blocks, may incorporate yellow, blue, or white paint
- Hotel may be mounted on a larger structure such as a shed
- Nest materials are not moved or rearranged while in use (only in winter or at night if you must)
- Landscape includes flowers for nectar and pollen
- Landscape includes nesting resources (mud, sand, resin, leaves; see Appendix 2)
- Flowers and nest construction materials are available within about 1/10 to 1/4 mile from the nests
- Nest materials are emptied using an emergence box, then retired or disinfected with bleach every one to three years
Table A1-1. Threats and Countermeasures.
|Woodpeckers or other birds||
|Pathogens (mold or fungal infections)||
Publication date: July 6, 2022
Other Publications in How to Manage a Successful Bee Hotel
- What is a Bee Hotel?
- Meet the Residents
- Bee Hotel Design and Placement
- What If Bee Hotels Aren’t Actually Good for Bees?
- Appendix 1. Bee Hotel Checklist
- Appendix 2. Plants with Leaves and Fibers Used as Construction Materials in the Nest Interior
- Appendix 3. Plants that Produce Hollow or Pithy Twigs and Stems Used by Nesting Bees in Eastern North America
- Appendix 4. Building Plans for a Simple Bee Hotel Shelter
- Appendix 5. Additional Resources
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