Build a bee hotel to provide habitat, protection

Mari Knudson

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Picture the average grocery store produce section: a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, chock full of flavors and nutrients. Suddenly, about half the display disappears, leaving behind disheartened shelves lacking in color and diversity.

This scenario represents the fate of the world following the extinction of pollinators, a collection of birds, insects, and small mammals that spread pollen from plant to plant in search of food, helping native plant populations, including food-bearing ones, to thrive.

Pollinators, especially bees, face increasingly high threat of extinction today, through a multiple of causes, many of which are human related. According to the Bee Informed Partnership research portal, winter colony losses were as high as 35% in Minnesota for the 2015-16 season, compared to the typical 5-10%. However, there are many actions individuals can take to reverse this trend.

One action that requires very little space, time, and money is building a solitary bee hotel. These bee hotels create a place for species such as mason and leafcutter bees to grow and thrive, even in an urban environment. Follow the steps below to create a bee hotel and help combat declining bee populations in the process.

Materials needed: timber, logs, saw, sticks, PVC pipes, drill, containers