9 Backyard Bee Homes and Farms

From inexpensive and DIY bee house solutions to full on bee farms, the possibilities are pretty widespread when it comes to making homes for pollinators. The four habitat requirements for luring wildlife include food, water, shelter and space, and these bee homes touch all of them:

1. This one is known as the Inn Vertebrate, which is a multi-story habitat not just for bees! It also has different sized holes for many invertebrates.

2. & 8. These beautiful and colourful bee boxes were featured on the blog, Dobby's Pumpkin Patch. They've got some really great information on their website about the anatomy of a bee box, and how they put theirs together.

3. An interesting and fairly complex bee farm structure with skylights, ventilation, and a number of bee boxes, via Taylors Bee House and Beehives.

4.This one reminds me a bit of Star Wars. Known as Apimaye Thermo Beehive

5. This is known as a top bar hive. Easy to manage, it's a great backyard bee hive for beginners.

6. & 7. This is a home for solitary bees (including both Mason Bees and Leafcutter Bees). These colonies build nests and are very faithful to them. Some have been living there for decades. If you decide to build a bee house like this, remember that the stems must be completely dry at all times, under some sort of shelter.

9.Another home for a solitary bees: This Mason Bee House has replaceable tubes to protect against a build up of parasitic mites that can carry over in used tubes. The unused tubes can still work, but if you're seeing signs of varroa mites or any other parasite, all you have to do is change one of the tubes, and hope for the best! $14.95 for replacement tubes, $17.95 for the shelter

(Images: 1. Inhabitat ; 2. Dobby's Pumpkin Patch; 3. Taylors Garden Buildings; 4. Apimaye; 5. Cold Antler Farm; 6. & 7. Foxleas ; 8. Dobby's Pumpkin Patch ; 9. Kinsman Company)