Anyone who gardens knows the importance of pollinators, especially bees. Those wonderful buzzing little creatures are one of the most important insects on earth, responsible for pollinating over four hundred agricultural crops, and countless numbers of wild plants. Bees aren’t the only pollinators, but are the most important. Others include bats, beetles, butterflies, birds, moths and beetles. The reason why bees get so much attention is that they are in trouble in many places. Habitat loss from human construction, diseases, parasites, and copious amounts of environmental contaminants are all working against bee populations thriving and expanding.
Based on this sour news, many responsible gardeners and growers have taken it upon themselves to help the national bee community rebound. One way this is accomplished is by the addition of Bee Hotel or Bee Houses around growing areas. These structures provide a nesting habitat to lost of wandering bees, which would otherwise die. Wild bees are often searching for a place to nest and the construction of these offer them exactly what they are looking for. On a side note, most people assume that all bees live in huge honey-producing hives, which is untrue. Of the more than twenty-one thousand species of bees across the globe, only about 10% live in structured social settings; the honey bee being the most dominant.
Most bees are what we call ‘solitary’ bees. They don’t live in colonies, nor do they build hives, and they don’t make honey. Their sting isn’t as dangerous as some other bee types and they only attack as a last resort; we’re talking life or death, last resort. Solitary bees most often live underground or in undisturbed places where small nooks and crannies can serve as a home. A Bee Hotel is a wonderful alternative to what solitary bees might find in the wild.
This article is not a tutorial for constructing or placing a bee hotel of your own; there a literally dozens of such articles on the internet where you can find plans to construct your own. This article is instead about sharing the wonderful bee hotel the Sacred Herbs team constructed on Father’s Day, 2020.
As our growing areas continue to expand, we became concerned that not enough pollinators were visiting, so we began to plant more flowers to attract bees. Yet, we didn’t really have a guaranteed source of bees. After reading about the benefits of a bee hotel, the answer was obvious – we needed one of these structures. Of course, we needed one that looked really cool and had it’s very own style, so we jazzed it up with an awesome header piece.
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