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KiDLS: Build Your Own Bee Hotel!

Watch the KiDLS video for your age group to learn all about Bees and make a craft! In our Little KiDLS video, we make a bee finger puppet. In our KiDLS video, we make a bee hotel, which you can find the instructions for below the videos.

Now that you know all about bees, why don’t you build them a bee hotel? Miss Kary has built her own bee hotel and with these instructions and Miss Kary’s video, you can build your own bee hotel with recycled materials found around your house. It will take you about an hour to build and there are a few things you will need. Be sure to read your materials list below, along with a few things to keep in mind about being safe. Now go on and get busy like a bee!

Materials You Will Need

  • A canister, such as an oatmeal or coffee can. Any can will do that is at least six inches deep
  • Paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls (without the paper or toilet paper!)
  • Scrap paper. One side needs to be blank
  • Pen or pencil for rolling the tubes of paper
  • Different colorful objects to decorate with. Think bottle caps, pipe cleaners, colorful lids, or even magazine pages….whatever touches your fancy!
  • Glue (can use hot glue gun [see safety warnings] or regular glue)
  • 25” of twine, yarn, or string
  • Ruler
  • Tape 
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Your Safety

  • Please be careful with the glue gun and only use it when there is a grownup around to help you.
  • Keep the glue gun upright on a protective tray, such as aluminum.
  • NEVER touch the glue gun’s nozzle or point it at anyone.
  • The glue dries in 15 seconds, so you need to attach the materials very quickly. Do not touch the glue, as it is very hot.
  • Never leave the glue gun plugged in or unattended.


  1. Cut the twine in half and then glue the twine around the canister so that you can hang your canister outside. You want the canister to hang horizontally (see video).
  2. Use 3-5 paper towel rolls or 6-10 toilet paper rolls to snugly put inside the canister. If you are using toilet paper rolls, tape two together. Place the rolls inside the canister and cut off the tops until the rolls fit beneath the rim of the canister so they will be protected from the elements.
  3. Use your ruler and pencil to divide one piece of paper into 3 strips, approximately 3.5” each.
  4. Use the pencil/pen to tightly roll each strip into a tube. Make sure the blank side of the paper is on the inside of the tube so the ink can’t contaminate the bee larvae.
  5. Tape each end of the tube and place several pieces of tape in the middle.
  6. Take 8-9 tightly rolled strips and stuff each of them into a paper towel or toilet paper roll. Trim the tops of the tubes so that they are within the canister and not popping out.
  7. Decorate the outside of the canister with all your colorful lids, pipe cleaners, and bottle caps. Remember that bees do NOT like the colors red or black. They do like the colors yellow, blue, purple, and white.
  8. If you like, fill your canister with dry materials such as pine cones, grass clippings, moss, straw, sticks, and whatever else you think would be good.
  9. Hang your hotel on a fence or a building at least 5-7 feet above the ground. Facing a southern or eastern exposure would be best. Hanging it close to flowers and close to mud or clay will make the bees very happy! If you can hang it under a deck or eave, this will help to keep your hotel dry and will not fall apart.
  10. Thank you for helping to save the bees!

Modified from the National Wildlife Federation blog

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