Introduction: Bumble Bee Nest

Picture of Bumble Bee Nest

In wanting to keep more than just Honey Bees, and Mason Bees. I found myself wanting to help the Bumble Bees as well. So I used some cheap Terracotta pots I had laying around.

Step 1: Drilling the Goal

Picture of Drilling the Goal

I used a 5/8" ceramic tile hole saw to drill in the first hole in the upper side of the Terracotta pot. This would be the entrance to the nest. I took a smaller saucer and drilled 3 holes in it. Those 3 holes come in handy for giving you something to hold on to when placing that in the bottom of the larger flower pot. Also those 3 holes are for water drainage, and air flow. So that gets place in the bottom. I then used some old burlap for inside the nest. I just cut it up for the nesting material.

Step 2: Cad & Spacers

Picture of Cad & Spacers

I didn't want to drill out any more holes then I had to. I needed some vents in the top though. So I designed 3 little spacers that will hold the lip or top 1/4" higher than the larger flower pot rim. Those were printed on my 3D printer. I used a much larger saucer that fit perfectly on top upside down for a lip.

Step 3: Location, Location, Location

Picture of Location, Location, Location

At this point the last thing to do is to find a location for it to go. I dug about 2" 1/2" into the ground and placed it in there. Put the dirt back up around it, and now it sets. I put some honey on the inside hoping to use that as bait for a Queen Bumble Bee. If that works that would be great. If not, them next year I will buy a Queen and colony. Thank you for checking my project out. I really appreciate it.


morganhillchris (author)2016-06-02

This is very nice! I'm wondering if you've had any problems with mice invading the nests? If so; has elevating them a few feet above ground and on something that mice have trouble climbing negatively affected the bees finding the nests?

I haven't had any issues with mice yet, but living out in the woods anything like that can happen. From what I have ready up on bumble bees, there are some types that are more ground dwellers looking for rat or mouse holes for nesting. At the same time there are types what will look for much high locations. I have some good tree branches that I might hang one from in a hanging basket.

tgeimer (author)Dylan Larsen2016-08-27

Do not worry about mice - a single queen can chase it away like in this (german) documentary from minute 8 - 9:

I have built a bumblebee hotel a few years ago following these instructions: I can only recommend two things:

1. Never place the nest in direct sunlight - it gets too hot inside and above 41°C the bumblebees die. Always have something around it

2. Place it outside at the right time (quite early in the year) when the queens are looking for a colony.

Quadrifoglio (author)2016-07-13

And another vote, this time for Outdoor Structures.

Quadrifoglio (author)2016-07-06

Congratulations on your Grand Prize finish!

Much thanks! I really appreciate. You for sure help me out with that with your vote. Again thank you.

Quadrifoglio (author)2016-06-28

It is rare nowadays when we see a bumble at the trumpet vine. I enjoyed watching the impossibility of them actually flying. This is a great project and I voted for it in Animals in the Wild.

it's for sure a lot of fun and relaxing. I completely understand that and much thanks for voting for this. I really appreciate it.

fishinthetray (author)2016-06-05

did any bees came in?

I am going to bait the hive next week if the weather breaks. All it has done is rain. If I catch some ill let you know.

I have had a few come and go, but I feel that it could be too late in the season.

physicsguy137 made it! (author)2016-06-12

Made three in under an hour. Didn't have a 3D printer, so I used short sections of PVC pipe split lengthwise as a replacement. White is some rubber to seal up the edges of the entrace hole. I'll get them placed as soon as the rubber cures and I find some burlap or denim to put inside.

I dig it. These look awesome!!!!!!!!!!

corey2280 (author)2016-06-02

what is the cork in the side for?

Dylan Larsen (author)corey22802016-06-03

The cork is for plugging the entrance hole if I was to catch a wild queen to keep her in there like with honey bees. give time to get use to the place. after a day or so the plug c9me off and then the bees come and go

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a business owner. I have been making and building things longer than I can remember. I love to work for fun and work ... More »
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