Build a backyard bee house in 4 easy steps

Learn how to build a DIY bee condo in four easy steps, with materials you may already have on hand.

'Without the bees, we don't have food'

'We're working with a basic plan,' says Winston Maund, glancing down at the bee house he's partially completed — a few dozen more holes to go. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Did you know wild bees need our help to find a place to live? Canada has hundreds of species of wild bees, many of which could be buzzing around your P.E.I. back yard. 

The Stratford Watershed Group is holding a workshop on — and providing the materials for  — building an easy DIY bee house, which attract solitary bees.

"You go on the web, there's all sorts of plans," said Winston Maund, chair of the non-profit group. "We're working with a basic plan." 

Maund is creating "kits" for 12 participants in the Saturday workshop. They consist of an approximately 40-centimetre high chunk of non-chemically-treated wood with a slight angle cut on one end, and a flat board for a "roof" with a couple inches overhang on front and sides. 

Here is Maund's step-by-step tutorial to build you own bee condo:

1. Cut a length of wood

You can cut a length of wood with a power saw like Winston Maund, or with a hand saw. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Cut an approximately 40 centimetre (15 inch) tall, 15-centimetre square (6 by 6 inch) or even a 4-inch square piece of untreated wood, found at your local building supply store. 

2. Cut a slight angle 

Prep one end for the roof, which comes next. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Cut a slight angle on one end of the chunk of wood, so rainwater will easily slip off the roof you will nail on next. 

3. Add the roof

Winston Maund prefers screws to nails for the roof of the bee house. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Nail or screw on one 30-centimetre or foot-long — here Maund uses two boards glued together — board for the roof, with a couple inches overhang on the front and sides for the bees to get out of the rain. 

4. Drill holes

Drilling the first of a few dozen holes for the bees to crawl into for shelter. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Drill holes about half a centimetre (a quarter-inch) wide and about 3 inches deep, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart, all over the front of the bee house. The bees will happily use the holes as temporary homes.

You can even drill holes in a pattern — like a bee shape — Maund notes. 

Hang your contraption proudly from a tree or post near flowering plants or bushes in your garden using a bit of rope or wire. 

Go wild

The almost-finished bee house, with a few dozen holes left to be drilled. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

The materials are being provided with help from a $1,200 grant from the World Wildlife Fund's Go Wild fund.

This weekend's event is being held Saturday at Stratford Town Hall at 9 a.m.

"The bees are there to pollinate everything we have," Maund stressed. "Without the bees, we don't have food."   

Register for Saturday's 9 a.m. session by calling (902) 367-3605 or by emailing 

If you missed this session, don't worry — the group plans to hold another bee condo workshop in the new year, and will also instruct Stradfordians in building butterfly hotels and birdhouses. 

And for those worried about getting stung, Maund said the bees won't bother you if you don't bug them.