The Nature Guardians Program of the Halifax Chapter worked at the Common Roots Urban Farm in Halifax to make a pollinator hotel for solitary bees. Solitary bees are amazing pollinators and they do not live together like honey bees. They include Mason Bees, Leafcutter Bees, Sweat Bees, Bumble Bees and Digger Bees.
Mason and Leafcutter Bees are who we primarily designed our pollinator hotel and they need the following things for their homes:
- Access to mud
- Need protection from wind, moisture and direct summer sunlight
- Holes at least 8 inches long
- Larger sized shelter
- Shelter should face east or southeast to get early day sun
- Good nest materials are reeds or bamboo sections, holes drilled in wooden blocks, cardboard tubes, grooved boards
- Slightly overhanging roof to deflect rain
- A variety of tunnel hole sizes, ranging from 2-10mm. Leafcutter bees like smaller holes. Mason bees like 5/16 inch holes
- Woody stem materials with holes
We had help from Don and Doug of Halifax Builders Cooperative to make the hotel structure out of donated apple crates. We drilled holes in wood beams and logs cut to length and placed them in the crates. We also used bricks with holes and bamboo and japanese knotweed segments to create more tubes for bee habitat. Next time you visit the Common Roots Urban Farm go look for our pollinator hotel and learn about solitary bees!