What is a bee hotel?
A bee hotel is a sustainable resting space for solitary pollinator bees, which make up over 90% of the bee population. Solitary pollinators work independently to spread pollen from plant to plant, flower to flower – and they need your help!Why are solitary pollinators under threat?
All across the world, populations of solitary bees are declining due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and unhealthy environments filled with toxins, pests and diseases. Without a place to find food, water and nesting sites, populations could suffer to the point of extinction.
We’re working harder than ever to support Canadian solitary bees, in all their buzzing glory. The WILD FOR BEESTM bee hotels will provide solitary bees with a place to rest their weary wings. Do your part and build a bee hotel!
Looking for inspiration? Check out what Burt’s Bees and their partners are building around Toronto:
The Skyline Hotel, Fairmont Royal York
Made of plywood sourced from home demolition sites, this bee hotel replicates three of Toronto’s iconic landmarks.
Pallet House, Black Creek Community Farm
This mini village is built from recycled shipping pallets. Native plants provide shelter from the rain and additional pollinating opportunities in the garden.
Tree Tower, Eastview Pollinator Park
Constructed from recycled plywood; the Tree Tower integrates seamlessly with the vast wildflower landscape and makes a beautiful sculptural addition to Eastview Pollinator Park, located in Guelph.
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Built from recycled roofing shingles, the overall form of the structure references nomadic and permanent residences – the function of a bee hotel.
Tripod Bee Hotel, Toronto Botanical Garden
Designed as an abstract nest hanging from a tree canopy, this bee hotel was built entirely from urban waste. The nesting material is tree debris from the 2013 Toronto Ice Storm.
How do you make a bee hotel?
Solitary bees make their nests in tunnels in the ground. Replicate these conditions by gathering natural materials from your area: hollow or pithy plant stems and old wood scraps work well.
Drill holes in branches 20 cm in length, with an opening of a maximum of 1 cm in diameter. Bundle these together with twigs and place them in a container; even a milk carton will work.
Place your bee hotel in a sunny area that’s protected from the rain and a few feet off the ground to ward off animals and young children. Don’t forget to replace the stems every couple of years. It’s best to make the switch in early spring or late fall, when baby bees have grown enough to survive a shift in their surroundings.
1) Pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of over 80% of our flowering plants. In the absence of bees, many plants and the animals that eat them would simply die off.
2) Bees provide well over $92 billion worth of crop pollinating services across the world. Our plants (and pocketbooks) depend on a healthy bee population.
3) There are over 800 kinds of native bees that exist across Canada – the vast majority of which don’t sting – and experts are still finding new species.
4) Each bee species has its own method of surviving Canadian winters. Some burrow deep below the frost line for months on end, while others withstand freezing conditions by hiding in leaf litter or hollow stems.