Waskasoo Environmental Education Society special events coordinator Kathryn Huedepohl holds three Bee (pollinator) Hotels made with a variety of hollow stem perennial stalks. The bee hotels can be used to attract overwintering native bee species.

Creating a place for bees to thrive

Great gardens and healthy ecosystems need pollinators and creating small, backyard bee hotels are an easy way to attract hardworking native bees. Kerry Wood Nature Centre is running a bee hotel workshop on May 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. Materials will be provided.

Great gardens and healthy ecosystems need pollinators and creating small, backyard bee hotels are an easy way to attract hardworking native bees.

Kerry Wood Nature Centre is running a bee hotel workshop on May 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. Materials will be provided.

“It sounds a lot fancier than it is. You can make bee hotels out of a lot of stuff you have hanging around,” said

Kathryn Huedepohl, public programmer with Waskasoo Environmental Education Society.

She said the centre used chunks of two by fours, about 12 cm long, and some tubing stuffed with short hollow perennial stems.

“They are very natural-looking, inconspicuous things that do an amazing job.

“You can put it anywhere out of the way. If you want it front and centre, you can do that too. But it’s fine in a back corner.”

She said native bees could use some help with the rise in non-native bees and hotels provide more places for native bees to thrive.

Ken Lehman, the city’s parks, ecological and planning specialist, said if gardeners want pollination they should be inviting native bees into their yards.

“Our native pollinators are so important, so much better than the non-natives because our native bees come out earlier in colder temperatures. They forage in a way that is much more diverse,” Lehman said.

He said there’s over 300 kinds of native bees here.

“A lot of people have a fear of bees. A lot of native bees don’t even sting. And if they did it would be like a mosquito bite.”

Bee hotels provide cavity-nesting bees with another place to lay eggs spring and summer. Some will also overwinter in the hotels.

And he said hotels won’t attract wasps.

“(Wasps) are not going to set up shop in your bee hotel because that’s not what they need for habitat. They are a social nester. They build their own nest.”

The city is trying to educate the public about the role of pollinators by installing pollinator hotels at Bower Ponds and has plans to put them into City Hall Park and Snell Gardens.

“One in every three bites of food is thanks to pollinators,” Lehman said.

Huedepohl said concern for native bees is starting to grow compared to last year at this time when the centre wasn’t getting any questions about bees.

“I think bees are one of those hidden things. People don’t realize how important they are,” Huedepohl said.

And it’s best to do something to help them succeed before problems develop, she said.

Pre-registration required for the bee hotel workshop. The cost is $10 plus GST for Kerry Wood Centre members and $12 plus GST for non-members. Call 403-346-2010 for more information.

More ideas on bee hotels can also be found online at www.xerces.org, www.davidsuzuki.org, or www.reddeer.ca.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

One person dies in hospital after house fire erupts in Calgary

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says a person has died in… Continue reading

Festival of Trees volunteers honoured at breakfast

This year’s Festival of Trees was able to provide the Red Deer… Continue reading

Two Red Deer filmmakers are finalists in web-series contest

Angel Peterson and Jason Steele are each creating pilot episodes with $20,000 prize

Sexual predator preyed on his own young daughter and niece

Eckville man sexually assaulted numerous children as young as two for nearly a decade

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

OTTAWA — Signs began to emerge Friday that the coming race to… Continue reading

Drug bust: Red Deer RCMP seize drugs, cash, vehicles

Criminals are getting creative. Red Deer RCMP have seized cash and vehicles… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday Join us at the Senior Center Downtown House (5414 43 St.… Continue reading

Tiger Woods caps comeback year by leading emotional team win

MELBOURNE, Australia — The emotions poured out of Tiger Woods, just like… Continue reading

Carriers’ new financing plans offered as way to ease the cost of smartphones

TORONTO — The weeks before Christmas 2017 were especially frenzied for Canada’s… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Mexico disputes language in US bill on ratifying trade pact

MEXICO CITY — Just days after a landmark agreement on a trade… Continue reading

Tax advantage was better in Canada even after Trump cuts, Finance document says

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau was told months before he gave… Continue reading

Nova Scotia communities await decision on contentious pulp mill pipeline proposal

HALIFAX — For pipefitter Ben Chisholm, an imminent decision on the future… Continue reading

Rebels head into break with win over Swift Current

Red Deer has five wins in the last 7

Most Read