Dippy at Home - Make your own Bee B&B


A bee sitting on a wooden bee hotel.


Suitable for: children aged 5-11.

There are over 250 species of bees in the United Kingdom. Most of us know about the honey bees who live in hives and make the lovely sweet stuff that we can put on our toast. In fact, Dippy has inspired the knitters of Rochdale to make over 1,000 of the busy buzzers that you can see in Touchstones Rochdale museum.

Because meadows and wild places in this country are in decline, sometimes these solitary bees need help to find a place to live.

Build your own Bee B&B

Why not make your own Bee B&B for your garden or other outside space? It’s fun and easy and will help to ensure that the little bees are pollinating the flowers and crops we all need to live well. It’s also a great way to recycle your waste plastic bottles.

What you will need:

• A 2 litre plastic bottle, top and base removed to make a plastic cylinder

• String or twine

• Modelling clay or wax

• Hollow ‘things’ (reeds, hollow flower stems, bamboo). You can also use sticks and even a pine cone as long as they can all be packed into the plastic cylinder. They should all be trimmed to the length of the plastic cylinder.

• Moss, dried grass for padding

• Scissors

• An adult for the cutting and piercing


1. Ask an adult to make a hole with the pointy end of the scissors in the middle of the plastic cylinder.

2. Thread the string or twine through so that you can hang your B&B from a tree. Or you can skip this step and place your B&B on a wall.

3. Fill your cylinder with the hollow ‘things’ you've collected, try and mix them up as different bees like different sized holes.

4. Pack any gaps with moss or grass. You want the bees to as secure as possible. Nobody likes a wobbly bed.

5. You can seal one end of your plastic cyclinder with the modelling clay or wax, but this is optional.

6. When it’s finished, hang your B&B either on a tree or place it on a wall, about 1 metre off the ground, if possible.

'Bee' patient. Bees will take some time to decide on your B&B and if you put it near some flowers then they are more likely to choose you.

Please use the hashtag #DippyAtHome to share any photos of your Bee B&B.

Find out more about bees

Most bees live alone, we call them solitary bees. Find out more about the different bees (external link)

You can also identify the different types of bumblebee that you might be able to find with this handy guide to identifying bees (external link)

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Season (19 June 2020 - 12 Dec 2020)