That food you’re eating? A bee probably had something to do with it.
Much of the food that you eat owes itself to pollinating animals. Pollinators include bats and birds, but the majority are insects – butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, and especially bees. Some flowering plants that produce our food are pollinated by wind or water, but almost all the flowering plants in the world rely on animal pollinators to reproduce.
However, pollinators are declining for a number of reasons, including: habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. Because there are fewer pollinators, food producing plants are pollinated less.
But there is something that you can do to help – build a bee hotel!
The Edmonton and Area Land Trust did just that. Our dedicated volunteers built a variety of bee hotels to compare styles, and we installed one just yesterday at The Edmonton Community Foundation.
This bee hotel attracts solitary bees, which aren’t aggressive and don’t sting, unlike other social types of bees that swarm. Bees can lay their eggs in the holes, leaving some food for the young when they emerge.
We hope this bee hotel is the first of many, as we look to increase awareness about bees and other urban pollinators in the Edmonton region. EALT’s conservation lands already provide homes for bees, which help pollinate the agricultural and other lands around them.
Stay tuned for more information about building your own bee hotel!