DIY Pollinator Can

The perfect size for even the smallest home, this simple container gardening project will attract, feed, and house native pollinators.

| March/April 2019

There are more than 4,000 species of native bees in North America, and while supporting European honeybees is important, helping our native population is even more so. Pollinators are responsible for more than 20 billion dollars of food crops each year, and many species are suffering from population declines due to pesticide exposure, disease, and habitat loss. Even urban gardeners with small patio gardens or containers can provide important habitat for these insects.

If every homeowner and apartment dweller built a pollinator garden like this one, what a huge difference we’d make!

Photo by Jessica Walliser

Build Your Bee Dwelling 

Materials Needed:

  • 31-gallon galvanized trash can
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • 1 piece untreated 2-by-4 lumber, 4 to 5 feet long
  • Enough 50/50 potting soil and compost blend to fill the trash can
  • 8 to 12 pollinator-friendly plants, selected from “Best Host Plants for Bees,” below
  • 1 brick
  • 3 pieces 2-by-6 lumber, 18 inches long (cedar, redwood, or another untreated wood is best)
  • Wood glue
  • Piece of burlap, approximately 1-by-3 feet
  • 30 to 50 natural bamboo garden stakes, 2 to 3 feet long
  • Small roll of aluminum hobby wire
  • Roll of natural jute twine

Tools Needed:

  • Hammer
  • Scratch awl
  • Cordless drill with 5/16-inch and 7/16-inch twist bits
  • Pruning shears
  • Wire cutter
  • Scissors

Create Container & Plant Garden

Step 1. (Photo by Jessica Walliser).

9/24/2019 4:16:48 PM

After a decade of idleness, my bee home now has residents. A few years ago, I took your idea and did it a bit differently. I planted lots and lots of California natives along with my landscape plants and vegetables I grow and the response has been tremendous. They came and came and some have now stayed. I couldn't believe it when I went to the compost and looked up to see a number of holes "plugged". It makes me happy.

3/21/2019 9:58:55 PM

Nice one! Thanks!



February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me