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Project by tyvekboy posted 04-07-2016 12:10 AM 10678 views 33 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

April 6, 2016

This is the time of year (April and May in the south) that carpenter bees are looking for a nest. Your house siding and trim is a perfect place to build one.

If you don’t want to keep patching those bee holes in your siding and trim, fake them out and provide them with a hole in which they can make a nest … (wink … wink).

There are several ideas posted on the internet and here on Lumberjocks but I thought I would post my deluxe version. It doesn’t take much time to make and while you are at it, make several.

You will need some scrap 3/4 inch material, a water bottle and a plastic jar with a lid about 4-1/2 inches in diameter for each bee trap.

Here are the dimensions for the pieces of the box. Solid wood is preferred but plywood would work too.

You will need 2 pieces for front and back and 2 pieces for the sides. These are screwed together after the 1/2 inch holes are drilled at an upward angle on each piece. The front and back holes are centered and located about 1-3/4 inches down from the top. The side holes are about 2 inches down from the peak.

Cut the 45 degree cuts on the sides after the holes are drilled.

Clamp the front and back between the side pieces and make sure the holes are angled upward before pre-drilling and installing the screws. I used 1-5/8 inch decking screws to attach the sides and roof.

You will also need 2 pieces for the hipped roof as illustrated above.

The long one is screwed to the short one and then the assembly is screwed to the top of the box.

You should end up with about 1 inch over hang all around the box.

The top portion of the water bottle is cut about 3-1/4 inch down from the top so it sticks out the bottom and there is enough left to cut slits about 1/2 inch long which are used as tabs to bend over and stapled in place.

This is what the water bottle looks like stapled in place.

The bottom piece has a 2-1/2 hole drilled in the center. An empty water bottle will need to fit in this hole so verify the size you are using before drilling the hole. I had to use a drum sander to slightly enlarge the hole so the water bottle would fit.

This will be inserted in the bottom and secured with 4 screws. Make sure the neck of the water bottle is on the outside of the trap. I used 1-1/4 inch decking screws here.

I used one of these plastic jars that mixed nuts come in for my bottom container that will hold the bees.

The lid measures about 4-1/2 inches in diameter.

On the inside of the lid there is a little bump that I used to place the pointy end of my compass set at 1-1/4 inches and marked a 2-1/2 inch circle. I drilled a hole big enough to fit a scroll saw blade and cut the hole in the lid with my scroll saw.

The lid was then attached with 2 short (1/2 inch) pan head screws.

NOTE: If you want it to look right, put the lid on square jars and position it so that square jars are aligned with the box. Put a mark on the lid and the bottom of the box for a reference. Then remove the jar and attach the lid.

At this point, you are done except for attaching a screw eye in the middle of the roof ridge.

I bent a small piece of coat hanger to attach to the screw eye and put a larger eye (or hook) at the other end of the wire to hang it up.


Now if you want to get fancy, you can do what I did. I cut a piece of roofing felt (a little over size) and used hot glue to attach it.

I then got a piece of 3-tab shingle and cut it about 1/4 over sized all around. Using a heat gun I softened it up and formed it around the ridge of the roof. Hot glue was also used to attached it. Just to be sure, I also used 2 staples on either side to mechanically attach it to the roof of the trap.

It’s ready to go. Happy Hunting!

Thanks for looking.

Comments and favorites appreciated. Questions welcomed.

(( NOTE: If you download the 6 preview pictures and put them into a PDF document, you can put it on your iPad and take it to your shop to use as plans while you build this.)

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

25 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3787 days

#1 posted 04-07-2016 12:30 AM

Great project, a definite keeper and favorite! The South isn’t the only place this needed as we have our share of problems with Carpenter Bees here in the Midwest.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4299 days

#2 posted 04-07-2016 12:41 AM

This is awesome Alex. I remember you showing me these. I was just telling a buddy of mine about them the other day. Thnx for posting this. I need to make some for around my place. Isn’t there a different type for wasps?

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View tyvekboy's profile


2185 posts in 4508 days

#3 posted 04-07-2016 01:41 AM

Good question Roger. I’ve noticed that I’ve caught a few wasps in mine already this year.

Here is a picture of the success of the traps.

These also make good gifts for neighbors or relatives.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 3145 days

#4 posted 04-07-2016 05:43 AM

great idea, maybe to make a proposal … to put in a little container of beer, the smell of them is overwhelming and wasps and hornets MUST go there … greetings, Bambi

-- bambi

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4956 days

#5 posted 04-07-2016 09:59 AM

Good post Alex. Wish I had your talent for doing that.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View DonB's profile


591 posts in 4187 days

#6 posted 04-07-2016 10:03 AM

Yes, a wonderful contraption. I have three, two on the house and one on the corner of the garage. Other than the way you mounted the bottom, they are matched bookends. I’ve caught wasps, spiders, the intended victim, and even green tree frogs, although I’ve no idea how they manage such a small 1/2” hole. Made a couple for neighbors and my daughter in Tennessee.

-- DonB

View Woodknack's profile


13594 posts in 3875 days

#7 posted 04-07-2016 03:43 PM

Nice. I made one last year and three more this spring, a simpler design, but they aren’t working so I might try this

-- Rick M,

View Bill_Steele's profile


786 posts in 3226 days

#8 posted 04-07-2016 04:15 PM

Thank you for posting this project! I’m definitely going to make a couple. My girlfriend has these carpenter bees around her house here in Maryland and she’s scared of them. I’ll win points with her for sure if I give her a couple of these traps.

View Thinkerf's profile


53 posts in 3297 days

#9 posted 04-07-2016 04:45 PM

Hey Alex,
This is a great little project and I think I am going to make a few of these for myself and my friends. Great idea and so simple. We don’t have too many “carpenter” bees up here that I know of (or maybe we call them something different), but we do have several varieties of wasps and I am sure this would work on them as well. Thanks for the great idea.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5547 days

#10 posted 04-07-2016 05:12 PM

Looks like a COOL bee trap, etc. ... BUT, does it attract the good honey bees too?

I like the way you use Sketchup… you are a true Master of it!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4863 days

#11 posted 04-07-2016 06:15 PM

My neighbor was fixing a bench from his patio when he found a piece of the bench was just full of carpenter bee burrows. We were somewhat amazed at the length and depth of these “drilled” holes.

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View TexUSAF's profile


112 posts in 3461 days

#12 posted 04-07-2016 07:23 PM

Awesome plans!!! I will be making a few of these this weekend for myself and neighbors. Thank you!!

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3502 days

#13 posted 04-07-2016 08:35 PM

Yup, I make these for friends at church. The instructions I got (years ago) said to use soft wood, because that’s what the bees like…. So I use pine shelving boards. But I never could figure out WHO asked the bees?? :-)

Anyhoo, I make mine a bit simpler. I make the box and drill the holes in the sides UPWARD at about a 45* angle, then I hot glue a plastic cola bottle cap directly to the bottom of the box. I drill a 1/2” hole thru both the bottle cap and the floor of the box.

I catch quite a few every year.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4162 days

#14 posted 04-07-2016 08:40 PM

Thanks Alex for the good instructional post and I my just try one for the wasps that keep getting into my deck and see if it works .


-- Kiefer

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 4007 days

#15 posted 04-07-2016 10:25 PM

I hope this isn’t for trapping and killing honey bees, I understand they are an asset to us humans.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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