Picture of Bee Hive in a Bucket
Bees are having a tough time world-wide.  We need bees for our agriculture. 

This bee hive is not designed for harvesting honey.  This is just a home for bees.  Not only the bucket is habitable, but the hollow pipe that supports it in the air can also be colonized. 

In past years, bees have been getting scarcer around here.  I have had two volunteer bee colonies establish themselves along my ridge this year -- in inconvenient locations.   I hope they will find their way to this hive when the time comes for the volunteer hives to divide.  

This is just an experiment.  The hive was put up today near one of the volunteer hives, and has not yet been colonized. 

Step 1: Background

Picture of Background
Bees have colonized an overturned cut-off drum used to support a supply of rebar off the ground. 

Local friends said that just drilling a hole in a bucket and leaving it around would attract bees.  In designing this hive, I wanted the entrance high enough off the ground that toads would not be able to leap up and gobble bees at the entrance. 

I put the entrance hole in the pipe, a little below the bucket.  That way, the bucket protects the entrance from rain. 


Ummmm...well, I think that "local friends" must not include beekeepers. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for experimentation but, when your dealing with living things, probably good to do a little research if you have an investment in succeeding. You know how birdhouses have to have a particular size hole, internal dimension, etc., to attract certain birds? Bees have particular requirements as well. For example, where is your vent hole on the top? Moisture is death to a hive. Promotes disease almost immediately. Sun goes down and that cools-instant moisture on the walls. Also, bees require a particular range of tempreture to live in. They thermo-regulate by clustering in tighter or more open balls and vibrating to generate heat to keep the colony warm, and actually leaving the hive when it gets too warm. Thats why beehives are constructed out of material with decent insulating qualities-like wood. The problem with your bucket is that thin plastic would change temp almost instantly, and the bees couldn't adjust the temp inside fast enough. Also, the home needs to be expandable because if they run out of room, they have to leave-that's what "swarming" is. Etc., etc.-more research, pal. Lot's of great info available, and check-bet there are local beekeeping clubs that you can check out for education. Good luck

stephenf1 year ago

I like this - helps my garden. Any updates on how it is working?

RE: Heat problems. Would reflective (shiny) paint help at all?

Thinkenstein (author)  stephenf1 year ago

Bees never voluntarily colonized it. The materials were used for other things.

Misac-kun1 year ago

Next thing to do is a Beehive in a nut shell :D

WillieNAz1 year ago
I saw the beehive in a jar idea and thought it'd be cool to marry your idea with theirs. Get a square pipe like a rain gutter.
Drill holes for the bees.
Set it in the ground.
Drill holes for jars on all 4 sides staggered all the way up.
Cap the top (possibly with another jar).
Screw jars in all the jar holes (wax a stripe inside the top of the jar).
Now you have a Jar Beehive Tree...
Thinkenstein (author)  WillieNAz1 year ago
A little hard for me to get the picture, but it sounds like a nice idea. I no longer keep bees.
I like it and I think I will try it. I I've in Oregon and even if it's illegal we need bees. So as long as some move in and if some one asks I'll say it's a spider house and the bees just moved it. Lol
Thinkenstein (author)  redfoxtrystman2 years ago
Good luck. I like the idea but I never did get a volunteer colony to move in.
Thinkenstein (author)  fullabull693 years ago
It is interesting that in my early years here in the forest, I would hear many swarms of bees go by each year. In the past few years I may have possibly heard one. Whatever it is that we are doing with our established, legal behavior, it appears to need some tweaking.

I tried. It never got colonized. I pulled it up out of the ground.
Thanks for following up on the progress. You might try baiting it like this fellow did. If you do, please let us know how it works as I have at least 40 reclaimed PVC pipes suited just for this purpose. http://www.instructables.com/id/Baithive/?ALLSTEPS
Thinkenstein (author)  cmskellington3 years ago
As I said, I pulled it up out of the ground. My experiment is over, but if you want to carry on and get it working, go for it!

Those buckets also come in a half size to the ones you have.

Have you noticed that multiple buckets slid together create a openable stack with spaces?

Maybe drilling of small holes in the bottoms for transit and sides

Mod the bucket a knife some small tubes/pvc and some glue or caulking and you could make entrace ways

Just thinking.
sasham3 years ago
You should make a skep and hang it on a tree. It is easy and cheap as it gets. Bees will love it. Instructions here, its on Serbian Cyrillic but you can understand almost everything from the pictures only.


Bees like some kind of grases, so you can rub it into your beehive to lure them. Ask some local beekeeper which one are used in your area. Enjoy!
Thinkenstein (author)  sasham3 years ago
Hi Sasham,

I'm glad you liked the bee hive idea. It's a nice concept, but the bees are still ignoring it.

Thanks for the link. I never heard of that grass rubbing trick.
here's a similar design that allows you to take honey: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-Honey-Cow-Top-Bar-Bee-Hive/
JustABeeK4 years ago
A few comments. First, I applaud your efforts, and I think it silly that people who know nothing about beekeeping are criticizing the design. This looks like a good experiment. As with most experiments, you try something and see if it works. Uninformed people saying "no, that won't work because of x, y, and z" is silly.

I'm a beekeeper, and while wood might be better, you've already found out that feral bees will inhabit most anything. A large open container with a small hole like that seems about right for bees.

As for the hive being colonized, spring time is perfect, as that is when swarms happen.
Thinkenstein (author)  JustABeeK4 years ago
Thanks. There is a feral colony in an old half-drum about 20 ft. from it. Maybe they will find the welcome mat on the bucket hive eventually.
mcaliber.504 years ago
could you put the bucket right side up, and put removable shelves in it? i saw this instructable, hoping that there would be a way to extract the honey
Thinkenstein (author)  mcaliber.504 years ago
My idea was to get bees started and leave them in peace, like a wild hive, not to steal their honey I see no way to do removable shelves. It's probably better to do a standard hive. Go for it! The main idea is to get more bees going. Cultivated hives are better than none at all.
Turnpike7a4 years ago
any bees yet? interesting design...i'd love to put these up around all my honey suckle if they work
Thinkenstein (author)  Turnpike7a4 years ago
Nope. No bees yet. I think it would have to be seeded with a young colony to get it started.
i've heard and read that using sugar or syrup can attract them and goad them into establishing a hive, dont use honey though there can be spores in honey that can transmit diseases, would the fact that hive is made of plastic be a factor?
Maybe if you use a wooden container, btw with a similar set up you can even get a wooden post with a few holes drilled into it, and bumble bees will set up shop there. Good luck!
Wondering about the bright white plastic...has anyone ever seen a plastic bee hive in use before?  I have seen wood used.....don't know how bee friendly plastic is to them.  it would get hot, and plastics emit gasses...even if unnoticed by us. i would opt for chemical free wood instead.  why add more plastics to the How hard is it for the bees to climb up and also to store honey to feed young in such a slick surfaces container? 

Just wondering...
Today they are making hive body parts from polystyrene.
I have seen those textured plastic sheets inside the wooden hives at the nature center where i used to work. However the frame was always wood. The idea of bees living in plastic pipes and buckets bothers me. there are so many other frugal and Natural ways to entice them .
Thinkenstein (author)  urbanwoodswalker5 years ago
I think the "textured plastic sheets" may have been sheets of stamped beeswax that are sometimes attached to the wooden frames to give the bees a head start in the right direction. I am thinking that, in a vertical pipe hive, drilling holes in the pipe for pieces of rebar, or thinner rod material to go through would at least give a lot of horizontal supports for bees to begin hive building on. Probably, a method for hanging starter sheets of wax from those rods could be devised, also. To clean out a dead hive, for example, the rods could be pulled back out the holes and a cylindrical knife could be pushed through to cut the comb from the pipe, and perhaps remove it with the same cylindrical knife in the same process. If it didn't come out too damaged, it could be mined for honey, perhaps. Plastic is often longer-lasting than wood for hives here, where it rains a lot. One is not supposed to use treated lumber for the boxes. Plastics may out-gas, but I think the rate is slow enough that hive ventilation should keep the problem within healthy limits.
Thinkenstein - I applaud your attempt, but would agree W8ZNX - go with a top bar hive. I will provide links and plans if you like. I have some KTBH's here in North Carolina. If you have the tools, and access to some old pallets, I am guessing less that $30. Also, to try to catch the swarm, here it is between April and Jun 30th, but mount the hive about 8 ft off the ground. I have never done it that way, but some people swear by it. Also, if you treat the wood, please treat it with a 20:1 mixture of Linseed Oil and melted Beeswax. It easy, and natural. Leaves a nice colored wood. I probably should do an 'ible on building one, but that would not be anytime soon. No need to build more right now. Good luck!
Hi, I am getting into honey bees and would love to get so plans on the hive with the old pallets. The company that I work for had thrown away all the wooden pallets until I found someone local that would pick them up weekly. Anyway I have plenty of pallets and time. I live in Knightdale N.C. and my email is closetosky@yahoo.com Thanks
Nope they were a polystyrene. I know what beesway is. :-)
I know nothing about bee keeping, but google knows all and plastic bee keeping equipment does exist, and is sold online. The only issue I see with plastic is bees don't take to it as they do natural material. i saw a site saying keepers should spray the plastic down with sugar water to acclimate them to the plastic. I'm curious, have any bees moved in since you've posted this?
Thinkenstein (author)  chello2k95 years ago
Nope, no volunteers yet. -- The two volunteer hives that got started on the ridge this year have died out. One, in a half 55-gallon drum apparently got wiped out by hungry toads that just parked at the entrance and ate the bees as they came and went. -- The other one appears to have died out, too, for some other reason, because I gave it toad protection with a wire mesh fence around the entrance. Both had low entrances, so a high entrance appears to be favorable. -- I can note the relative absence of bees around my garden, and I don't like it. I may just go for a standard hive, although the honey doesn't interest me, and I don't really want to get into intervention bee keeping again.
Thinkenstein (author)  urbanwoodswalker5 years ago
Many years ago I kept bees.  I used wooden boxes and also plastic boxes.  The bees didn't seem to object to the plastic and the plastic boxes had better longevity than the wooden ones.  I live in a tropical climate with lots of humidity.  Maybe in a drier climate the wood boxes would be more attractive to me.   Anyway the plastic boxes seemed to work just fine. 
Good to know....I can understand that.
w8znx5 years ago
nice idea, love pickel bucket projects, but sry it will not work, as stated by others, not enought room for a strong hive that can store enought honey to winter over also a weak hive can be wiped out by a strong hive that steals all its honey no provision for ventilation bees need ventilation to control inside temp of the hive no way to inspect the brood which would make this style hive ilegal in some parts of the United States reason is not mites, but " Paenibacillus larvae larvae " better known as american foul brood AFB nasty stuff that kills a hive can spread to other hives most of all if strong hive steals honey from weak infected hive in the end causing more than one hive to fail for cheap/simple hive see " top bar hives " your truly
Thinkenstein (author)  w8znx5 years ago
Thanks for the thoughts. I pretty much go along with everything you say. I was hoping to install a wild hive that never needed attention. Maybe I'll just get a standard hive, but even so I really don't want to get back into opening hives again. I'm not interested in the honey.
A good name5 years ago
If you're interested in pollinators, rather than honey collection, try orchard mason bees. They reproduce anywhere with holes and mud (look em up and you'll see what I mean)
Thinkenstein (author)  A good name5 years ago
Thanks for the idea. It would be nice to play around with them, too.
It is great that you are trying. If it works, great!
and if it doesn't,
well too bad, but we have not lost anything. 
I leave some of my sprouting broccoli to go to flower just for the bees and humming birds every year.
I would just like to remind people that there are lots of other types of bees and wasps too.  Many of them live in burrows in the ground or in holes in wood.  This year I have bumble bees that took over a wren box.   I think they had the runs because there was brown fluid dripping out but now it has stopped. 
  I also drill holes in wood for orchard mason bees and others.  6 inch deep holes or more and different sizes for different types of bees and wasps.  A new thing this year is holes in cob.  Cob is a mucky  mix of clay sand and straw that gets really hard when it dries out.  I made the holes with random pieces of round bar and old pieces of clothes hanger and old knitting needles.
Leave them stuck straight down in a piece of cob for a couple of days, twist them out and you have a bunch of holes in a cob B-block!   It might work, it might not.
But what have I lost if it doesn't?   Bees are getting scarcer and the more ideas to help them, the better.  You might not need cob, maybe ordinary soil will work.
Depends on your soil and your local bees.  Leaf cutter bees are amazing fliers!
They ride that curved up leaf through the air  like it is a surfboard!
And in my area, they need 10 to 12 mm holes in wood or in the ground.  ( Up to half inch)
This is great! Love the Cob idea~~~!
Borion25 years ago
Great idea!!! I am going to suggest and make some for my dad who is a beekeeper. Should be great for catching swarms from his hives.
paitch5 years ago
So, did the bees ever move into the bucket?
Thinkenstein (author)  paitch5 years ago
Not yet.  It hasn't been up long.  Fingers crossed. 
not sure if this would work but you could put a bee atractant inside to get the bees to go in there??, nice instructlble 5/5 i might start mine soon, as soon as i get a big bucket :)
fentanyl35 years ago
Hello, glad to see you are taking interest in keeping bee's, but I have something that may need to be pointed out. It is illegal in all states to intentionally keep bee's in a container that does not allow removable frames.  Any Top Bar Hive, or Langstroth Hive will suffice. A bucket does not,. any container that does not allow the colony to be inspected by being able to remove the comb without destroying it is illegal. The law can be bent though, for example, if bees decide to move into an old toolbox in your yard, and you do nothing with them, it is perfectly legal. If you took bees from one location and placed them in the box it is illegal. If you enticed them to swarm into the box using lures, it is illegal. In other words, if you entice bees into this container you are breaking the law, and possibly could get into a little trouble with your local bee inspector. If the bee's decide all by themselves to move into it, you are not required to do anything about it, and are not in violation.

Why? It's actually for protection of bees, and for other bees in the area. if a foul brood outbreak happens in your area, the inspector will need to inspect all colonies and destroy all those found to be Foul Brood positive. A contyainer that does not allow easy inspection could prolong an outbreak etc. If interested in keeping bees, but letting them be to their own devices, look at TBH (top bar hives) as they are simpler and cheaper to get started than a typical Langstroth setup.
On another note, the bees would probably like it a little better if the pvc pipe did not protrude nearly as deep into the bucket, give it a couple inches at best they will like the open space better. I would also paint or otherwise make the bucket more opaque. make a few small holes in the top to allow moisture to ventilate better. As far as being plastic, with a top hole for better ventilation, it shouldn't be a problem. maybe give it a wrap or two with a blanket if your winters are cold. Insulation isn't nearly as inportant for the bees as it is for reducing condensation. If you have had bee's in the past you probably know they cluster to avoid low temps, but condensation can cause water to drop on them from above and chill the cluster. over all nice idea, and neat looking, just call it a birdhouse that got taken over by bees to avoid the bee inspector making you remove it.

Thinkenstein (author)  fentanyl35 years ago
I put a second bucket over the first bucket recently.  That traps a little air between them, which should provide some insulation.  The top bucket also should provide some UV protection for the core bucket.  If the top bucket goes, one could always just slip it off and replace it. 
I know several bee keepers and they would never even try plastic...which could more readily seal in parasites, or confine disease.  natural materials such as wood, or the old world grass reed basket type hives not only breathe, but  swell and shrink according to the weather. 

Another thought is to learn more about the NATIVE bees of North America who have struggled from all the European non native bee competition...North american bees numbers are losing ground.  North American bees are generally solitary species...and very simply made wooden bee boxes will help them as well.  Other north American bees hole up in the ground...growing the types of flowers they love will help them greatly. 

If you are not bee keeping for honey, best to encourage our native bees more. 
Thinkenstein (author)  fentanyl35 years ago
I've never heard of a bee inspector out in my neck of the woods, and PR is not a state, but what you say about protecting bees makes sense.   The legality of the design is something I didn't consider.  Thanks for mentioning it. 
 Realy nice instructable! My dad has been looking into bee keeping for some time but the cost is a big factor. I think he would like to collect the honey so this version is not ideal but it would be a good project to see if a colony could survive in our area. 
 Just be absolutely sure to put this far away from humans or pets if you live anywhere  in the Southwestern US where there are Africanized bees. Here in Tucson, you can assume that any wild colony or swarm is Africanized and they are extremely aggressive!

Every year we have people who end up in the hospital or dogs who end up dead because they messed with an africanized colony and get stung hundreds or thousands of times, and to an africanized colony, 'messed with' means as little as 'walking within 5 feet of'.

 Yea but they still poll>nate, i'v been around them, just like any type of bee, no mess, no sting, and phemon's
Yes they do pollinate, and foraging bees (the ones you encounter out flying to the flowers) are not generally aggressive, regardless of origin, but bee behavior at the hive is VERY different!

We have professional beekeepers who manage africanized hives, here in southern AZ, and like their counterparts throughout South and Central America have learned to manage them, but the fact remains that Africanized bees are vastly more aggressive, and recruit defenders in numbers that are orders of magnitude greater when the hive is threatened.

Whereas a European colony might send out a few dozen bees to attack an intruder,  an Africanized colony will send out hundreds, even thousands (if the hive is that large)

Again, you do not want Africanized colonies hanging around places where people and pets frequent.

If you want to encourage pollinators, try setting up homes for native bees, like nesting blocks or reed nests. There's a lot of information out there on providing habitat for native pollinators. 

I have a patch of bamboo growing in my yard, and keep the poles around to use for gardening etc. I have them hanging in a bundle up on my porch and some big carpenter bees nest in them every summer.

onef5 years ago
I don't mean to pee in the Maker's cheerios here, but nobody should ever, ever make this.
A big reason beehives need removable frames is because of the ability to inspect the bees for varroa mites. While the jury is still out on varroa mites, they are believed to be a major reason for CCD(to the point where the state of Hawaii has banned any hives within 5 miles of a port due to possible infection), and no responsible beekeeper, or gardener for that matter, should provide a place for varroa to breed.
A beehive on a 10-15' pole is possibly the worst idea ever. If you have feral bees on your property, you should contact a qualified beekeeper IMMEDIATELY. More often than not, they will remove your bee infestation at no cost to you. More importantly, a qualified beekeeper can properly identify varroa infestations, and take the necessary action.
If you want to get into beekeeping, build a Langstroth hive, read up on the subject, and do it properly. CCD is serious business, and while you think you may be doing good, you could be doing irreparable damage to your local ecosystem.
Thinkenstein (author)  onef5 years ago
I thought those Cheerios were a little odd. 

I see the idea gets complicated.  It might work better in some places than others. 

Bees didn't need human intervention originally.  They are probably in the mess they are in now mostly because of inadvertent human intervention, such as pesticide use and urban displacement.  Perhaps, human intervention can still save the day through inspection of every hive, and protective action when needed. 

I think if I was a bee, I'd probably still go for the hollow tree, or pole, without the protective apiarist.  

Anyhow, what you say makes sense.  People should think this through for themselves before deciding if it is right for them. 

I agree with comments about needing to make it easier for the bees to ventilate the bucket. an opening somewhere, even one covered in mesh to keep out pests, would be a boon to the bees, likely.

Don't worry about the entrance being too complicated. Every summer my local group keeps an observation hive at the local fair and uses a 3' long tube between the hive and the opening in the outside wall. Once the bees know how to get in and out, it's not a problem. Look at how many bees make convoluted trips through people's walls and attics to get to their hives.

What I *would* worry about is space. A single bucket is really small for a healthy colony of productive honey bees. They'd be likely to swarm (or even abscond altogether) much more often than typical given this little space.
You are right. Once a hive is established worker bees can find it quite readily. I read of an experiement in bee-intelligence, where the apiartist started moving a hive 20 feet every 20 minutes--by the third or fourth time, he discovered that bees were already in the new location awaiting arrival of the hive!
Thinkenstein (author)  stacymckenna5 years ago
There is connected space inside the vertical pipe, too, even extending down into the ground. 

It would be nice if they would divide and multiply instead of leaving completely when things get crowded.  It would be nice if they would colonize buckets that could be transported to other places needing bees. 

I do like the idea of better ventilation, but  I wonder if they would seal over an opening covered in mesh? 
Treknology5 years ago
If they've not yet been occupied, I would suggest painting the unit to reduce UV decay of the plastic.
thewmas5 years ago
A big swarm of bee's moved into my barn, last spring,Feb> i'm in Fl...so the main nest was in a dead palm tree, washatonia, I guess they had a new queen, so i let them bee, and they moved on, about a week later. no big threat.
CapnChkn5 years ago
You have it right that bees will colonise just about any enclosed space, depending on the race.  Most bees in the United States are from European stock, meaning they will generally set up in a hollow tree.  The African hybrids are less picky, and will set up just about anywhere, overhanging ledges, holes in the ground, etc.

Though what you have here will work, the bees will probably be uncomfortable.  They do produce a lot of heat and moisture, that needs to be evacuated from the hive to allow the nectar to evaporate, the temperature to be controlled, and for fresh air.  This is done by bees at the entrance fanning their wings.  Your design doesn't allow for this.

Bee's don't need a landing board, this is a misconception that was started in the 19th century, and most beekeepers agree landing boards are just a platform for Mice to access the nest.

Do a search for Kenyan Top Bar hives.  They are simple to construct, and supply all the requirements of these bees.  Also, if you so want, it will allow somebody to get into the hive for maintenance, possibly to harvest honey, and in general help the bees along.
good point
It looks like a modified sawhorse.  In fact, I bet you could make one from a sawhorse.
Thinkenstein (author)  CapnChkn5 years ago
Thanks for the good info.  I'll have to tune the interior climate. 
thewhite5 years ago
Couple of thoughts at first glance (from my experience). Hive MUST be insulated and stayed in shade. The entrance is overcomplicated for bees and they need even small sort of ledge blow entrance. In my opinion hive needs to be made from wood rather than plastic. I know that's neat idea using plastic bucket, but unfortunately that's not gonna work.
And hey I'm not trying to criticise you, ask some bee keepers around you for advice. and good luck.
good experiance, like a well maintained baby
Thinkenstein (author)  thewhite5 years ago
All good points.  I can see I'm going to have to tweak the design.  It would be nice if the bucket would work.  There are plastic hive boxes that bee keepers use.  I had them years ago when I did some bee keeping.   So, plastic is not inherently unsuitable. 

Ventilation, and interior temperature all have to be considered. 
 Yeah. In hive is stable temperature always. too hot and some problems with melting wax, too chill and problems with youngsters (even during the strongest winter -20C when hive is properly insulated inside is around +25C)
You can find more information on Internet. 
good comment
Thinkenstein (author)  thewhite5 years ago
This is the tropics, so there would be no winter cold problem.  The white color of the bucket would reflect some of the heat.  I may make it a sombrero (hat) to give it some shade. 
The plastic is fine, insulation helps, but is not imperative, and the ledge is useless, watch a colony of bee's, they don't lazily land on a landing board and then walk in, they fly to the place nearest they are going and land as close as possible and go in, landing boards or landing ramps are useless, how many trees have land boards?
Hi mate. I had in (best year) nearly 40 hives (320l of honey best year) and what I've seen it's bees like proper wooden hive. To be honest haven't tried with plastic ones so really no experience with that, but you need to follow same rules. In my area winters was quite harsh that time, and insulation was a key for whole swarm to survive the winter. Don't know how different is keeping bees in warmer climate but I guess plastic bucket in the direct sun... that's not gonna work in my opinion. about ledge, well, look on the design again mate, and you'll see what I'm talking about. At last but not least wait for real swarm even "introduced" to the hive and we'll see...
again good luck
SkinnE5 years ago

Muchos Kudos for this instructable, even if it were only for the simple act of encouraging people to provide more homes for bees and/or make people aware of the global problem facing us all. 

I like the idea of this, even if some beekepers think it's flawed/illegal.  One insulation idea using the same materials, use a second, bigger bucket around the inner bucket; allows for top holes in the inner bucket and provides cover from rain.  If you're worried about cold in the winter, you could fill the gap between them with something suitable which would allow condensation to clear, like a few old sweaters that would otherwise be going to waste. 

xrobevansx5 years ago
 You may get a swarm from the other nearby hive.   Good luck!

thepelton5 years ago
It looks neat.  Is it bear resistant?  I'm sure you can't make something bear proof without welding it out of steel.  Bears can break into cars by pushing on the windows.
vds5 years ago
Realy helpfull for me...
Do you buy a queen... or will they just shack up (bucket up)? I like this instructable very much!

CaseyCase5 years ago
Used a "digging bar and a tuna can" to get the hole "as deep as my arm"

And my ex-wife wondered why I have so many tools. Mmmm. Don't currently have a tuna can in the tool arsenal, though.

iPodGuy5 years ago
Nice work.  Waiting to see how this turns out....
Thinkenstein (author)  iPodGuy5 years ago
Me too.  There is a lot of speculation here about what might happen, but it might also never get colonized. 
beecrofter5 years ago
This is essentially a swarm trap.
Bees like to colonize spaces of about 1 cu ft with no light entering from above. ( you may want to paint the bottom third of the bucket or otherwise render it opaque )
They also like places that smell like old hives.
Pouring some melted beeswax into the bucket to coat the bucket bottom which will be the hive top will not only attract bees but will give them an attachment point to hang new combs.
If you want to take it to the next level you can add a pheremone swarm lure which are obtainable from beekeeping supply houses.
WVvan5 years ago
Shouldn't there be (bee) some air holes at the top of the inverted bucket?
Thinkenstein (author)  WVvan5 years ago
Holes at the top would let rain water in, as well as allowing for better ventilation.   

I like having the entry hole as small as possible for defense of the hive.  More holes for ventilation mean more holes to defend.  Somehow, there has to be a good balance between ventilation and defense. 
lemonie5 years ago
This looks great, have you had any "tenants" yet? (I like bees)

Thinkenstein (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Nope.  I just set it up today.  It's within spittin' distance of one of the volunteer hives.  This is going to be wait and see. 
This has got me all worked up and excited !!!  Please follow up on this so we know how well this works out.  I have not seen a honey bee in the yard for the last two years.  If this goes well I'll set one of these up behind the shed and by a buy some bees for it. 
RadBear5 years ago
Cool! Bees rock. Be sure to update when/if you get tenants.
mikeasaurus5 years ago
Neat idea. The cool thing about bees is they are not picky about the shape of their home, the comb conforms to whatever shape the hive is located in.

You have to post pictures when it's colonized.