I’ve been thinking of a bee hotel workshop since last September, and now that Spring is just around the corner it’s finally time to start making it happen!
While there are around 4000 different kinds of bees in North America, we usually only hear about the charismatic honey bee. But as charismatic as they undoubtedly are, honey bees are newcomers on the ecological scene. Introduced by European settlers, up until about the 1850s there weren’t even any honey bees in British Columbia, for example. That’s hardly a blink of an eye in terms of ecological history!
Biodiversity is a good in its own right, but it also makes a lot of practical sense to protect our native bee species, like Mason Bees, who live in wood, and Solitary Mining Bees, who live in loose dirt, or the Wood Nesting Augochlorine which lives in rotten wood, because they all pollinate different plants with various degrees of efficiency.
Bee hotels provide homes for a range of indigenous bee species that nest in wood, and encourage bees that tend to travel only short distances to take up residence in your gardens or green spaces and help you grow things throughout the season.
Be on the lookout for our very own “how to build a bee hotel” workshop that we’ll be putting on this April at the Interpretive Centre!
For more information of local bee species and their habitats, see this handy guide developed by the David Suzuki Foundation.