News From the Hive: Rooms for Rent at the Pollinator Hotel
Pollinator (noun) Animals such as bees, bats, ants, beetles, birds and butterflies that move pollen from male flowers to female flowers to fertilize and aid in growth.
Pollinators need a safe place to rest their heads and call home, as they are so very busy during the spring and summer months. The Applied Food Studies Project class led by Dr. Maureen Costura has created The Pollinator Hotel. It gives solitary pollinators—that don’t reside within a colony—a safe place to live while helping maintain and grow the apiary gardens. The first guests to move in will likely be wasps and bees, but ants, beetles, and moths will also rent out rooms of their own! The hotel was built earlier last season and only needed some additions to make it perfect. Smaller pieces of wood with tiny holes were added, as well as moss to create a homier environment and encourage more pollinators this spring.
Building a pollinator hotel is easy and affordable. They can be made in any size—from a can to a car. They can be made out of almost any container and filled with items that have holes in which they can nest like bamboo, wood cylinders, masonry with holes and moss for bedding. It’s simple to make one of these at home using available materials like a coffee can, plastic tumbler, or flower pot! Be sure to paint the hotel with bright colors as pollinators use color as visual cues to find their way. And make the holes small enough for the bees to nestle in comfortably.
Once the weather gets a bit warmer the Pollinator Hotel will be seeing its first guests.
By Emma Bukovsky