National Pollinator Week is intended to bring awareness about the pollinators of the world which include bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, and many more. Pollinators are at risk - many populations have been declining over the last decade! These species provide an extremely important ecosystem service by pollinating crops and other wild plant species, bringing bountiful harvests of crops and producing food for all people and wildlife.
Many organizations, including EALT, are concerned about pollinators in Canada and around the world. Research shows that wild bees and pollinators are better at pollinating crops than cultivated honey bees. Many of our native pollinators are dying off due to the pesticides used on seeds and crops, and populations are declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation. If these issues continue unchecked, we may find ourselves without pollinators and worse still, not able to produce the food that sustains life on Earth.
To help the urban solitary bee population in Edmonton, EALT installed a bee hotel at headquarters at the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) building. This bee hotel is specifically designed for solitary bees, to help give them a place to rest, which can sometimes be hard to find in urban settings.
Bee hotels, also called bee condos, vary in size and shape. They generally consist of cavities for bees to live in, such as pieces of wood with holes or boxes filled with bamboo stalks. Solitary bees live alone; the bee hotel gives them a safe place to rest as well as make their nests for the young ones on the way! Lots of flowering plants nearby - with nectar and pollen for the bees to eat - encourages them to nest in the hotel.
We worked with our volunteer team and experts to complete this project and lead the way to benefitting pollinators in Edmonton. If you are interested in contributing to the development of our Protecting Pollinators program, or building a bee hotel, please contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help us create a healthier ecosystem teeming with life!