Beehive – too difficult to built? Built a “bumbleehive”


Unfortunately, numbers of the “good” insects that help us in our gardens and pollinate our plants have been decreasing steadily. That is a true and sad fact. Pesticides and destruction of natural environment is to blame. But you can help and help yourselves in the process by making a simple bumblebee house that attracts this helpful insect to your garden.

How does the pollinating insect live?

Several dozen species of bumblebees live in Eastern Europe alone. You are most likely to meet Bombus terrestris, Bombus lucorum or Bombus hortorum. Their life cycle is very fragile, and bumblebees are actually very vulnerable. At the beginning of spring, the mother (queen) wakes up and looks for a new nest. New nests are mainly built in old burrows dug by small rodents. The mother lays eggs from which workers hatch. As regular bees they also work very hard to bring food to the nest. Once the nest is built and it is strong enough, new queens hatch and start looking for mates among the males. After mating, the new mothers leave the nest, hibernate and wake up in the spring to start new colonies. If you build a suitable bumblebee house, you will help bumblebees very much by providing a safe shelter where they can reproduce in peace.


Photo: Pixabay

What does a bumblebee house look like?

Nothing special. It is a small wooden booth made of unvarnished boards. For example 25 x 30 x 30 cm boards will do. Inside, you need to install a corridor which needs to resemble a burrow – to make sure that the queen likes it. In the centre of the box, you need to put some kind of soft bedding such as cut sheep’s wool, cotton or felt. If you are not a DIY person or want to create a bumblebee house with your children, you may use an old flowerpot and a piece of flexible hose (the so-called gooseneck) to imitate a burrow. Drill a hole about 3 cm from the edge of the flowerpot and push the gooseneck through it. Now turn the flowerpot upside down and line it with a suitable soft bedding and cover it with a plate or tile to keep water out.


Photo: Orangeauchors/ Creative Commons/CC-BY-2.0,

Things to watch out for

Young bumblebees best develop when the temperature is about 30 °C, so the house or box must be well insulated. Use Styrofoam for example. Even though bumblebees need rather warm temperature you should place the box in the shade, because it can easily overheat under direct sunlight. You must also protect it from ants because ants can totally destroy the nest.


Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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