DIY - We build a bumblebee hotel

- 2 clay pots - 4 l each with 2cm drainage hole
- Pebbles
- Kapok
- Small animal bedding
- Dried leaves
- Fluted tube 2cm diameter
- Stone slabs

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

Everyone has probably seen them at one time or another. With their chubby, hairy bodies and varied color display, bumblebees are probably one of the most distinctive members of the insect world.

Bumblebee on flower

Bumblebees belong to the true bees and are thus related to the honey bee.

While most honey bees, however, have been bred by humans in certain directions, bumble bees are largely natural and thus also dependent on natural habitats.

In spring when the bumblebee queen is awake, she leaves her winter quarters and goes in search of food such as Bee Pollen (Bio) and Honey (Bio) and a suitable shelter to build her bumblebee col ony. This can happen from a temperature of +2 degrees Celsius.

Bumblebees, especially ground and stone bumblebees, often look for abandoned mouse burrows for this purpose.

How the construction of a bumblebee state looks like can be seen in the following 2 videos.

Stone bumblebee nest:

Earth bumblebee nest:

Let's start now with the building instructions for our bumblebee hotel:

To start, you need to dig a hole deep enough to hold the 2 clay pots and a drainage layer of pebbles.

Earth hole with drainage

The gravel is important so that rainwater can drain properly, the clay pots do not get waterlogged and the bumblebee nest stays dry.

The gravel layer should be about 10cm thick and should surround the pots on all sides. It is not enough if the gravel is placed only at the bottom of the hole. The pots should not be in contact with the soil, otherwise they will easily draw moisture and it will quickly become uncomfortable in the bumblebee hotel. After all, you don't want to hear complaints from your hotel guests all the time. :)

Here is a hint to the pots. These should best not be glazed, otherwise they are not breathable and could sweat from the inside.

Now we can start filling the pots.

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

Since earth and stone bumblebees usually prefer mouse nests, you should try to recreate them as close to nature as possible.
A mouse nest usually contains a mixture of mouse hair, leaves and moss.

To simulate this, we chose a mixture of small animal bedding, dry leaves and kapok for our bumblebee hotel.

The small animal bedding is able to absorb large amounts of moisture and thus ensures that the bumblebee hotel remains constantly dry.

Dry leaves can usually be found in any garden.

Kapok are the fibers of the kapok tree pods. Kapok fibers are hollow fibers, which makes them very light and also warming and moisture regulating.

Please do not use absorbent cotton for the bumblebee hotel, as absorbent cotton is usually made of cotton or synthetic fibers.

Cotton is very good at absorbing moisture, but it is very difficult for it to be released, thus promoting the spread of bacteria, fungi and mold in the bumblebee nest.

In addition, bumblebees can get caught in the much heavier cotton or synthetic fibers. As an alternative to kapok, you can also use sheep's wool.

The bumblebees use the material to create a cozy nest for themselves.

Now fill the small animal bedding into the lying pots to about 2/3 of the height up to the drain hole. The remaining third up to the lower edge of the drain hole is filled with kapok and a few dry leaves.

Bumblebee hotel ingredients

After the pots are filled, place them in the hole in the ground with the openings facing each other. It is important that the edges are tight. For this purpose, you can fill up and stabilize the sides of the pot with more pebbles.

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

Then cut the hose into two pieces and insert each piece 2-3cm into the drainage holes of the pots. This way, the hose lies directly against the kapok and the bumblebees can comfortably go in and out.

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

Then the pots and the hoses are completely covered first with pebbles and then with a layer of soil.

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

The tubes should still protrude a bit from the soil.

The earth afterwards something press on.

Now you put a stone plate over the place where the pots lie in the earth so that this place remains dry.

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

Around hoses you can lay out a few pebbles and then shorten the hose to the height of the pebbles. The hose opening now simulates the mouse hole. The bumblebees can easily enter and exit here and reach the simulated mouse nest via the hose.

Bumblebee hotel ingredients

The bumblebee hotel is ready and the queen bumblebee can move in.

Ingredients bumblebee hotel

Do not worry about bumblebees in your neighborhood. Unlike wasps, they are not interested in your food and drinks. If you want to do the bumblebee a favor still put water points with stones in them so that the bumblebees have good access to water.

Bumblebee food in the form of flowering plants are of course also very welcome. Flowering sage, various types of mallow, coneflower, purple loosestrife, herb and spice plants and many others are particularly suitable for this purpose. The first food in the spring are willows, crocuses, mahonias, barberry, sloes, plums and cornelian cherry.