Is there a better way to celebrate Earth Day than to love all the beings that keep our ecosystem alive? This year, we are bringing all you need to know to build our own Bee Hotels!
If you haven’t yet read our Pollinator garden blog, check it out! Once you’ve got a garden going consider building a bee hotel to show some extra love!
We have collected all the details you need to build your very own bee hotel that welcomes native pollinators. Why is this important? Here’s why:
- North Carolina is home to more than 500 species of native bees.
- Most native bees are solitary, which means they do not have a hive and look for homes in hollow spaces, like stems, bamboo, and wood.
- It is unlikely for native bees to sting unless they are trapped in your clothing or squished. However, most native bees don’t even have stingers.
- Bees are the most successful pollinator in North America and we need them to pollinate our plants. About one-third of our food is dependent on pollinators, and bee species are responsible for the majority of this work. From apples to broccoli, we need bees to both, directly and indirectly, pollinate for these foods to grow.
- Native bees, which are more adapted to the environment they evolved in, tend to have a higher rate of pollination—and in some cases are vastly more successful. Honey bees are incredible at pollinating a wide array of crops in many different locations and can be transported with relative ease, but native bees will often outperform them on a “bee-per-bee”
BUILD YOUR OWN BEE HOTEL:
To build a bee hotel, all you need is wood to make a box and a few items you can likely find for free to create cozy spaces for solitary bees to call home. While constructing your box, aim to make it no deeper than 6 inches. The height and width do not matter.
Once you have a structure, fill it with logs and pieces of wood that have drilled holes in them, bamboo, pine cones and anything with hollow spaces the bees can make a home in.
Painting is not necessary, but if you are feeling creative like we were, decorate the outside of your bee hotel. Make sure to leave the inside unpainted so the bees have a clean and safe environment.
Check out our creations for inspiration!
Be sure to post your hotels on social media and tag us so we can share your creation to inspire others!
Want to learn more about how you can get involved in supporting your local bees and pollinators? Check out Bee City USA!