By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
We are all aware of the beneficial purpose that bees serve in the environment. They are natural pollinators that help different plants grow. However, there have been numerous reports that the number of bees in the world are dwindling.
There have been different efforts taken to save bees. Farmers are encouraged to use organic pesticides to avoid harming the species, while others have decided to create a sanctuary just for bees.
One way to increase the bee population is by providing queens a place to lay eggs. A bee hotel is a convenient way of not just recycling old natural resources such as wood, flower stalks, etc., it is also helpful in the bees’ reproduction process.
Your necessary materials consist of old flower stalks or bamboo canes, a plank of untreated wood least 10cm wide, a wood saw, a drill, screws, small pruning shears, and a mirror fixing for hanging the hotel.
But before you build your own bee hotel, here are some things to remember:
Look for a sunny spot to put your bee hotel; keep it dry as possible to avoid fungal infections that can affect eggs and larvae. The holes (or rooms) should vary in diameter between 2mm and 10mm to attract a wide range of species. Replace the stems each year once the new adults have emerged.
Here’s the step-by-step process:
Step 1: Saw the plank into four pieces which will become the rectangular frame for the bee hotel. Mark the holes for the screws and assemble the frame like you would a box. Paint the wood according to your preference and let dry.
Step 2: Cut the stems or stalks to the same depth as the box. Use sandpaper to smoothen out the edges.
Step 3: Carefully fill the frame with the stems. Hang the hotel on a sunny wall, free from rain, and allow the bees to discover a new place for them to feel safe.