Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

Bumblebee, Bombus pratorum. Source- Wikimedia Commons

Note: Folks, I heard from the author of two of the links below and he informed me that queen bumblebees nest in March and April (see the comments section below). I am glad I reposted this story but will have to wait till then to set my nest out. I can still work on it now to get it ready for next spring, though. — Jan


My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Last year, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using a flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material inside the upside down pot. Since I posted about toad homes yesterday, this is a natural for today. I saw my first bumblebee quite early in the year and I was surprised to see it, as we’re having the coldest spring here in 55 years. So, as I walked up my stairs to my house on the hill, I nearly ran into a very big bumblebee motoring along slowly over the landing by our mailbox. I nearly ran into it. Then I looked to the left and saw other bees dotted all over the dark pink of the blooming heather. I wrote to Jean right away, asking her when to put out my nest. She said, “Now!” Well, I became ill and wasn’t able to do it then, but can now. I decided to look into the idea a little more and have some lovely sites to direct you toward for particulars. I’ll be reading them, too, as I only know you use an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. What I’ve seen so far looks promising and I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I’ve prepared for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here to read a great article about gardening for bees that includes a chart telling you which plants attract bees. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest

Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams

How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to

Join our nest box trial… – the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s how-to…includes several types

About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
This entry was posted in Articles and Interviews, Fun, Home and Garden, How-to-do-it and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

  1. Hi Jan, thanks for the links to my how-tos 🙂

    I moved house this spring, and missed the boat on placing my nest this year, but will certainly be placing once the queens start buzzing around next March/April 🙂

    I really liked your toad home post – too bad my garden is probably too far away from open water for toads :-/

    • Jan says:

      You are so welcome, Thomas, they are great references. And you answered my question, too…about whether it was too late to put one out. I’ll wait until next year then… Ahhhh, on the toad situation. I am hoping I can make a go of it with one and maybe you can have a little pond at your new abode. — Jan

  2. Pingback: Adios Typhoon Songda; Hola planting day! « Goldie's Garden

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