Did you know, all bees don’t live in hives. Some are loners, wild and solitary. But they still need a place to nest. Voila! …. The bee hotel. That’s right. bee hotels, also called nests or houses, are a great way to attract pollinators to your family’s flower or vegetable garden.
Bee hotels are places for solitary bees to make their nests. They do not make honey. Solitary bees are much less likely to sting than honeybees because they aren’t defending a hive – (excellent!)
Solitary bees lay their eggs in small holes. You can tell bees are using your hotel when they make a mud “door” to cover the entrance hole. This means a female bee has laid an egg inside. After the bee hatches, it will eat a supply of pollen until it is ready to break through the mud and fly away. (Source: National Geographic).
Attached to a tree on the right side of the path leading into the Thunder Bay Centennial Conservatory – one of 8 stops on our Garden Tour on Sunday – you will see a bee hotel (photo below).
This post also includes a graphic that shows you how to build a “deluxe” bee hotel, and a photo of a bee hotel you could win in a raffle at this year’s Garden Tour, along with a wonderful book – Custom Bee B&B & A Guide to Native Bees donated with thanks by Thunder Bay & District Master Gardeners, Holly Rupert & Stephanie Paxton.
More good reasons to get your ticket and really enjoy this year’s tour. Tickets are at Landale Garden Centre, Vaillant Florist and the Art Gallery.
Thanks to our sponsors CIBC, Landale Garden Centre, and the Chronicle Journal, along with supporters the Thunder Bay & District Master Gardeners and Vaillant Florist.