I know we've been on a bit of a bee kick lately, but you know how it is when you first start learning about something. You can't stop thinking about it, learning about it, researching it and figuring out how you can try it all. At least that's how I operate. But it's just a coincidence that I recently learned about bee hotels. I am currently in the Master Gardener program at our extension office, and that is an entirely different story for another day. One of the programs that our local extension office is working on is called the Bee Hotel Project, you can see the information below. Once I saw a picture of a bee hotel, my interest was piqued. They are so cool and sculptural; I thought a bee hotel would look great in our yard. I am also kind of obsessed with pollinators and taking care of them so they can flourish. I composed a Bee Hotel Pinterest board, here, if you are interested in checking them out. Here are a couple of my favorites:
From the Jardin du Luxembourg, link
Bee hotels are created for use by (amongst other insects, bugs and pollinators) solitary bees - not honeybees. Mason bees are one of the solitary bees that are attracted to bee hotels, and a mason bee can pollinate a fruit tree 50 times more effectively than a honeybee. Solitary bees don't construct hives, but they build nests and they really like to build those nests in hollow tube like structures.
You can even buy a bee hotel on eBay, but why would you need to? It's easy to make your own, and it's a perfect project to do with kids. National Geographic has a great tutorial, here. Most of the items for a bee hotel can be found in your yard or garage. When my Godson and his brother came to stay with us for a few days over their Spring Break, we got to work on our bee hotel.
Owen cutting the sedums
Anthony had torn a huge electrical box off of our silo a few days prior to the boys coming, and I thought it would make the perfect frame for a bee hotel. Halfway into working on it, I realized that it was WAY, WAY too big, but once we were that far, there was no going back.