Bees are one of our most important pollinators, but they get a bad rap. From a young age, many children are fearful of bees as they know they can cause pain. While some do have that capability, most honeybees will not sting unless threatened (stinging will typically kill the bee as the stinger disconnects from the bee's body). When you see bees outside, remind children to keep their distance and give the bee space. They have an important job, transferring pollen between plants, getting food for themselves, and making honey for their colony.
This bee house is a very simple design using brown paper bags as the "cells" of the bee house. If you have access to paper straws or natural wood sticks, these would be a preferable material. While ours doesn't have it, it is also a good idea to enclose the bee house with wire netting to keep predators, like woodpeckers, out. Be sure to store your bee house in the winter in case any larvae nests are inside.
- Small container or box that can be hung or mounted to stable surface
- Paper bag (paper straws work well, too!)
- String or mounting materials
- Tape or glue
- Cut strips of paper the height of your container
- Roll paper into long tubes and secure with tape or glue
- Fill container with strips
- (Optional) cover opening with netting to keep out predators
- Hang or mount in a secure location
While this might not be the most weather-proof bee house ever, it will provide an opportunity for learning with your child. Check the bee house regularly to see if inhabitants have moved in! Observe bees in your yard and talk about them together. The goal is to teach children about the importance of preserving and protecting wildlife and our earth to make way for them to become conscientious and environmentally aware people.