Who would like bees in their backyard or garden? Well, even though you might not like them there, your flower garden certainly will! As we all know, bees help with the pollination of plants and flowers, ensuring a more natural growth, so to speak, of the flowers in your garden.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to set up actual beehives in your backyard. A couple of bee houses can make bees and other helpful insects come to beautify your garden. On top of that, bees that are attracted by bee houses are solitary and are known to sting less than common bees – don’t worry, we’ll detail this aspect in our buying guide!
In short, for a crowded and healthy flower garden, you need the best bee house UK! Here’s everything you need to know about such products.
Best Bee Houses
The first entry on our list is a cute and stylish bee house from Wildlife World. Naturally, it is a house for solitary bees and is not fit for growing bee colonies or honey production, obviously.
It comes with four removable trays and an additional row across the roof part of the house. Speaking of the roof, it features a swivel system that allows you to watch the bees in their home and check their nesting activity.
The trays are not only removable but also opened partially for cleaning and further inspections. Thanks to the wooden build, you might also try to paint the house in pleasant colours and place it in the middle of your garden.
Next up, we have the best solitary bee house in the same dimensions as the previous product – 20cm by 20cm by 22 cm. This come comes with five separate trays, another row of homes across the roof part, and with a metal cover across the roof’s top, for increased protection against the elements.
It is made of FSC-certified lumber, which makes for the perfect solitary bee habitat. The total of 6 trays are removable and can also be easily inspected and cleaned. Overall, the house features a natural wood finish, but it can be adorned by some decorations – just not too many.
Naturally, thanks to its solitary hotel design, the house will attract only non-aggressive bees, making for a safe garden and environment.
Here we have a more interesting entry. This time, the removable trays are replaced by tubes of various diameters – some of them even have multiple holes. It certainly makes for a nice look in any flower garden.
When it comes to dimensions, this bee house for garden features the usual and ideal dimensions for this type of product – 20 x 20 x 17. It is made of wood, while the roof has a protective coating to protect the bee house from moisture and other types of damage.
Upon purchasing, you also receive a pack of flower seeds for bees – if you didn’t know, this is the favourite food of solitary bees and they’ll definitely thank you if you plant some seeds in their homes.
As you might have noticed so far, solitary bees can make a home out of a single wooden tube. This is why the next house on our list is also a package of 50 wooden tubes that can be either randomly placed throughout your garden or glued together in a proper and unique bee house.
Naturally, these wooden tubes come at an advantageous price and, if you have a small workshop in your garage, you can easily put them too good use with a couple of wooden boards and a decent roof.
Obviously, the wood used in the making of the tubes is FSC-certified lumber and recycled timber – the manufacturer reportedly used a wide range of other recycled materials as well.
Next up, we have a solitary bee hotel that looks more like a bee hive house. Naturally, despite its looks, it cannot be used to grow bee colonies nor to produce sweet, delicious honey. It is also worth mentioning that this particular product is designed especially for bumblebees.
The hotel is made of so-called spit, which is natural wood that is also durable and weatherproof. All the wooden elements of the house are 18mm thick – they are not treated –, are screwed together, and have a professional, high-quality finish. For increased protection against the elements, the roof is made of metal.
Last but not least, the bee house features essential air holes that are secured with gauze in order to keep other insects or parasites outside of the bumblebee house. Then, as a final touch, the main hotel entry extends 20mm in the exterior and is painted green, making for an ideal take-off and landing point!
For our next entry, we have a bee house that seems pulled out of a fantasy novel/movie – it features arched and modular sides and has a pleasant brown finish. The roof extends onto the lateral walls – basically, the entire cover of the house is made of 15 wooden boards that are glued together into an interesting design.
Then, the entry is equipped with a small sign reading insects & bees – after all, one should let them know that this house is meant for them. The hotel rooms, so to say, are split between the upper and the lower half – the upper half has a multitude of wooden tubes, whereas the lower part has only 5 tubes but it is made of a single piece.
On top of that, the house features a convenient wire hanger as well. Moreover, thanks to its weight, you can easily suspend it by branches – the branch doesn’t have to be very thick or sturdy.
Next up, we have another bee hotel that comes with a classy finish. This time, the house features a zinc roof for increased protection against the elements. Keep in mind that this is very important when it comes to bee houses – they mustn’t get too moist!
The hotel comes with four different rows of rooms – the top room has more holes but is also for smaller solitary bees, while the bottom rows could be ideal for bumblebees.
Naturally, the house is made out of high-quality wood and sports a clean finish. It can be placed anywhere in the garden and, if need be, you can throw a colour or two on it as well. In terms of dimensions, the product is 15.2×12.3×15.8cm.
This is not a house nor a hotel – instead, it is a literal brick that’s meant to house the favourite friends of your flowers. For gardens and backyards where a wooden bee house doesn’t really fit, you might want to take a closer look at this brick!
It is 21.5 x 10.5 x 6.5cm (common brick size) and, overall, has a stylish and clean design. Moreover, its top also says beebrick in bold, rough letters – to inform your guests that they shouldn’t be picking it up.
Naturally, the brick comes with a multitude of cavities where bees can make their home. You don’t need to do any extra work – the bees will cover the entrance with vegetation or mud once they settle in.
If you want more than just enough bees to wander through your garden, then this is the ideal house for you. The product comes with up to 12 removable trays, each with 5 holes that can house a happy bee. On top of that, this particular product is wall-mountable as well, making for a stylish home exterior decoration.
When it comes to materials, the house is made of heavy-duty cedar, which is known to be highly weather-resistant. The trays are encased in a solid wooden cover that features an extended roof (that’s also a lid) to keep the moisture and water drops away.
Last but not least, the house is designed to attract non-aggressive bees only. As such, the product can be an amazing way to introduce your children to the life and evolution of solitary bees.
The last entry on our list is a comprehensive bee and insect house that looks more like a villa, if we may say so. It comes with 5 different compartments, each suitable for different types of insects. For example, the middle two are ideal for small and crawling insects, while the lateral wooden tubes are perfect for solitary bees. The miniature birdhouse on top could be easily used by a bumblebee or similar, larger insects.
Due to its multi-compartmented build, the house comes with a rustic effect and, on top of that, can be mounted on trees or fences as well. In terms of dimensions, the product is 33cm x 27cm x 10cm.
It comes with more than enough positive reviews and reportedly from a reputed brand, so it might be worth giving this bee hotel a shot!
Best Bee House – Buying Guide
Bee houses are the best way to keep your flower garden beautiful, as well as safe for you and for your children. Since many people are allergic to bees and can’t usually go near flowers, a bee house will attract only solitary, non-aggressive bees that will make things a lot easier for those passionate about gardening.
This is the main reason why such a product exists. Solitary bees are known for their calm and inoffensive nature – besides the usual pollination skills that every bee has.
However, there are a couple of things that you have to take into account when buying a bee house, especially if you want to buy the best bee house UK – depending on your needs/preferences and not only!
Bee House Material
When it comes to materials, it is highly recommended that the bee house is made of solid and natural wood. Unlike regular bees, solitary ones don’t live in hives but in holes and gaps that occur naturally throughout the environment.
This means that wooden tubes are their best friends and that they’ll easily start using a hotel featuring plenty of those tubes. Since they’re solitary, those tubes will also house their eggs until new baby bees emerge.
However, keep in mind that the roof should come with some sort of metallic protection in order to provide additional protection against the elements. Usually, a zinc roof or roof-cover should do the trick just fine!
Bee House Hole/Cavity Size
As mentioned above, there are several types of solitary bees. Bumblebees, for example, are known to be one of the largest types of bee – although they’re not solitary.
The point here is that if you don’t want large and potentially scary bees in your flower garden, you can choose houses with smaller holes that will accommodate cuter bees. For example:
- Holes of 8mm are ideal for orchard mason bees which are the most common type of solitary bees. They are harmless and are known as very good flower pollinators.
- Holes of 6mm are ideal for leafcutter bees, as well as for other species of mason bees. They are smaller than the previously mentioned species but reportedly come with almost-identical pollination skills.
- Holes of 4mm are ideal for solitary wasps and a selection of small mason bees. These are those small/tiny bees that you might have seen flying around in your flower garden. Once again, there are completely harmless and do not sting (depending on species).
If you want all types of bees in your flower garden, then simply buy a bee house that comes with a variety of wooden tubes and holes or with multiple compartments.
Additional Features to Look For
- Swivel Roof – if you want to inspect the bees or educate your children regarding their lifestyle and evolution, then we recommend you to purchase a bee house with a swivel roof. This feature allows you to check the top row of houses and inspect the tiny inspects.
- Removable Trays – the same applies to removable trays. If you want to have a closer look at what’s happening on each level of the house or if you want to relocate the bee eggs to other bee houses (for more garden inhabitants), then you should buy a house with removable trays. This feature also allows you to clean the product easier.
- Built-in Hanger – lighter bee houses should come with a hanging wire so that you don’t have to worry too much about placement. Such a wire allows you to easily hand the house from a sturdy brand or from horizontal wooden poles. Speaking of this, the best place for bee house is often in the middle of your garden, suspended on secure poles, or mounted on walls or fences!
- Wall Mounts or Brackets – naturally, if you want to mount the bee house on a fence, wall, or tree, then it should come with dedicated wall mounts or brackets. Depending on the build/construction, it might be difficult for you to alter the original product and add a wall mount to it without breaking something.
- Treated/Coated Wood Finish – some bee houses might feature treated/coated wood that prevents environmental damage and keeps the finish clean and stylish for a long time. While this is good when it comes to visuals, certain bees might not be attracted by the finish texture, smell, or any other characteristics. Usually, heavy-duty and sturdy wood is the best choice.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the ideal nesting cavities for solitary bees?
Is has been shown that most solitary bees, in order to lay eggs and live a normal lifestyle, so to speak, need nesting cavities of at least five inches deep. As such, short bee houses shouldn’t be on your list if you plan to colonize your entire flower garden with solitary bees.
Q: Is bamboo a good material for bee houses?
Bamboo is a sturdy material – as well as quite common when it comes to bee houses. However, it usually comes with holes that are too large even for the larger solitary bees as well. On top of that, since it is a one-piece material, bamboo trays are often not removable and don’t allow for inspection or cocoon harvesting.
The material is also very susceptible to mould.
Q: What’s the benefit of using wood tubes packages?
Bee houses must be cleaned every year. This means that you have to remove any debris or residue from each individual tube. This is easily done when you buy a house with removable tubes.
However, when you have a house made from solid, one-piece tubes that are also glued at one of their ends, you will have a very difficult time cleaning them. This is when wood tubes packages come in handy – you just have to buy a house with detachable or non-glued tubes that you can replace every year.
Bee houses are not as simple as you think – as you might have noticed so far! Despite being quite simple products/constructions, they must follow a series of requirements that ultimately make them the best houses for solitary bees.
This is also the most important aspect of such products – they are not designed for usual, common bees, but for solitary bees that live in a nesting cavity. However, even if they’re not honey bees, they are great at pollinating flowers and, therefore, ideal for gardens!
Last but not least, the fact that these solitary bees are not aggressive and often don’t sting at all, especially mason bees, makes buying the best bee House UK a pleasure – as well as a must for those of you out there that are passionate about gardening but don’t enjoy those pesky little bees in your garden!