Food is not enough, pollinators also need a shelter to live and nest.

Shelter for the wild cousins

As pollinators the wild cousins of the honeybee provide a large contribution to the diversity in your garden. They are a lot more peaceful then their relatives, too – many of them do not even have a stinger. That’s why they are the best inhabitants for your balcony and garden. So get active and create a bee home!

In order to let the tenants feel really comfortable, there are of course a few requirements to pay attention to:

  1. There should be forage crops in the vicinity fitting the lifecycle of the promoted species
  2. Adequate building material like clay, soil and deadwood is to be used.
  3. The location should be sunny, dry and southward.
  4. Constuctions should be deep-seated.
  5. To prevent injuries of the inhabitants cut edges should be polished with sandpaper e.g.

Guesthouses for other helpers

Bees are not the only insects needing a place to live. There are a lot more beneficials like ladybirds and butterflies that rely on a safe home. As a reward they keep your garden healthy and thriving. Ladybirds for example are plant protectors as they are living on aphids. Butterflies on the other hand are pollinators just like bees and enable your plants to grow fruits and seeds. Help them, too, in finding a place to live.

Advice concerning your construction materials


  • matured and untreated
  • preferably hardwood
  • drill across the grain with a distance of 1 – 2 cm
  • drill holes preferably of a width between 3 and 9 mm
  • the depth of the drilling should be 10x the width


  • dry and sandy
  • loosely overgrown

Hollow stems like bamboo and reed

  • use undamaged stems
  • reed should be cut with secateurs, bamboo with a fine saw
  • pay attention to the joints of the stems which are closed at these points; put the joints always at the end of the stem
  • Hint: If the stem doesn’t have a naturally closed end, it can be sealed with cotton, clay or a small wooden plate.


  • stored in a sunny and dry place
  • offered vertically

Construction manual for accommodations

We have gathered some instructions for nesting aids fitting different pollinators and beneficials:

  1. the classic hotel for the wild bees
  2. the royal residence for the bumblebee
  3. the small sandarium for the digger
  4. the simple solution for the stem-loving architect
  5. the accomodation for the butterfly
  6. the mansion for the ladybug

Maintenance of the nesting site

On average nesting sites last for three to four years and should be renewed after that to make sure that the next residents still feel comfortable. A yearly check-up can make that it last even longer. This is necessary because weather conditions and also birds can cause damages and make nesting for pollinators and beneficals impossible. Here we list some advice for the maintainance of your nesting sites:

Wooden nesting aids

  • If the openings of drilled holes are not fully closed or their seals are broken, they can be emptied and cleaned with a screwdriver or the material can be completely renewed.
  • If most of the holes are still sealed, there is nothing to be done.


  • Stiff stems (e.g. bamboo) can be cleaned with a screwdriver.
  • Soft stems should be replaced when they start to fray out.

Clay nesting aids

  • A brick trowel can be used to renew pieces that have been fallen out of the hotel.
  • In general these kind of nesting aids have the longest life time.