Solitary bees are Critical Pollinators and masters of Social Distance! We can learn from them right now. And decided to help. We made bee hotels. Part 1.
Most of the world’s bees live a “solitary” lifestyle, living alone. The world is home to over 21,000 species of bees and a 90% of bee species do not live in social structures. Solitary bees are two to three times more effective pollinators than social bees. More than 1,000 hole-nesting bee species are native to North America. Unlike social bees, the female solitary bee has to gather pollen and nectar, build nests and lay eggs all on her own. Each female solitary bee constructs and provisions her own nest. They do not live in hives, make honey, build honeycombs, or swarms. Solitary bees are harmless and not aggressive.
Similar to birdhouses, bee hotels provide vital and missing nesting habitat. In the wild, hole-nesting bees usually nest in holes in standing dead trees, fallen logs, and broken branches of bushes and large grasses. Wild hole-nesting bees are desperately searching for suitable nesting sites, even making do with nesting in the ends of old garden hose nozzles, openings in metal garden furniture, and even hollow ends of windchimes.
One of our very own environmental scientists, Kevin Carr, researched, built and constructed the bee hotels. He figured about 2‐3 hours went into each “hotel,” and about an hour went into each framed flower bed/stand, with an additional hour each for placing/assembling the hotels at the office and filling the flower beds. One of the hotels was placed near to TTI’s Monarch Butterfly Waystation, established in 2018. The other bee hotel was situated near a deep tree area on the property line.
We asked Kevin “Why 2?” He answered “The more the merrier! Two hotels in different locations, constructed a little differently, can only help the bees’ chance of success.”
Kevin graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stockton University with a degree in Environmental Science, and has been with TTI for over a year. In his role as Environmental Associate 1, Kevin handles Phase I,II and Site Assessments, performs various sampling events, and assists with report data collection.
Part 2 coming soon “It’s all about the Bee’s”…. hotel details and habitat area.