Ken Lehman

Insect hotel aims to bolster pollinator population

Leafcutter bees, beetles, moths and even butterflies will soon be checking into Red Deer’s newest hotel.

Leafcutter bees, beetles, moths and even butterflies will soon be checking into Red Deer’s newest hotel.

Located in the northeast corner of Bower Ponds, a new pollinator hotel is expected to be taking reservations by summer’s end.

The insect hotel is one of the features in the new pollinator park, which will take up space in Bower Ponds below the Taylor Drive bridge and Kerry Wood Drive. It will be completed this summer.

The park will feature good pollinator plants including highbush cranberry, wild columbine, wild flax, wood lily, wild plum, milk weed, black eyed susan and an apple or crabapple tree.

The hotel is a simple wood structure with holes drilled in the various woods such as ash, cedar and spruce designed to attract cavity nesting critters and insects.

“A lot of our native bees are solitary nesters,” said Ken Lehman, the city’s parks ecological and planning specialist.

“These aren’t necessarily the species that would burrow into the ground like our digger bees or our bumble bees. These are other solitary nesters that would use these cavity solitary locations where they are going to lay their eggs in there and back it with some bee butter. Each egg is an individual cell and they just pack that whole hole full of eggs. Those eggs would emerge one by one.”

The city has a three-year plan to bolster the pollinator population by designating parks at Bower Ponds, City Hall Park, Snell Gardens and Maskepetoon Park.

Pesticides will not be used and the weeds will be hand picked in the manicured areas to protect the pollinators in the designated parks.

“It has been shown that certain species have been decreasing in number,” said Lehman. “We are just trying to bolster people’s understanding of how important pollinators are so they can do it in their yard so if we all provide that habitat and look after those species then we are going to be better off.”

Lehman said the parks are demonstration areas to help people understand pollinators and what they can do to create pollinator-friendly backyards.

Interpretative signs will be at all four sites and Bower Ponds is the first phase of the project.

Next year the city will work on Snell Gardens. Specific plans are on the city’s website including information on how to be a pollinator pal.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

With a new syphilis outbreak in Alberta, infectious disease testing is made easier in Red Deer

Shining Mountains Living Community Services staff can do quick, simple dry blood spot test

Central Alberta home sales down 10 per cent from 2018

August sales 17.7 per cent lower than August 2018

Singh urges Canadians to consider troubling impact of Trudeau photos, video

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh challenged Canadians Thursday to try to see through… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Red Deer, Innisfail to host high school golf provincials next week

Nearly 150 of the best golfers across the province are set to… Continue reading

Senate tech critic tells Facebook CEO: Sell message services

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s most vocal critic of the tech industry offered… Continue reading

Walgreens, Google affiliate to launch drone delivery test

Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put… Continue reading

Airbnb says it will go public in 2020

Airbnb Inc. said Thursday it plans to go public in 2020, a… Continue reading

Understanding weather risks for home insurance as premiums, coverage shift

TORONTO — As the immediate impacts of hurricane Dorian fade from the… Continue reading

POLL: Should Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau resign after it was revealed he wore “brownface?”

Should Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau resign after it was revealed he wore… Continue reading

MAP: Red Deer Open Houses for Sept. 20-22

Plan your open house viewings with the attached map of listings in… Continue reading

Most Read