The Mecklenburg County Extension Master Gardener’s Freedom Park Demonstration Garden has added a bee hotel in Freedom Park, designed and built by a team of scouts led by Grant Larson, a junior at Charlotte Country Day School.
The hotel consists of several wooden blocks and tubes, with holes drilled in them to provide a nesting spot for solitary bees, i.e. ones that are not members of a hive or colony. Since the holes vary in size and material, the intent is that the new bee hotel will attract a variety of bee species guests.
Since about 30 percent of North Carolina’s 500 types of native bees are solitary cavity-nesting bees, they don’t live in colonies like honey bees. Female solitary bees build a single-occupancy nest to nurture their eggs for example. In urban areas, bees are declining for several reasons, including loss of habitat due to development leaving fewer wild landscapes with fallen branches, brush and other natural elements in which they can nest.
Grant and his dad recently installed the bee hotel at the demonstration garden. The project helped Grant to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest achievement attainable in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
The Master Gardeners will be planting various flowers and plants around the base of the bee hotel and adding an educational sign next to the hotel in the near future.
If you would like to donate to assist with covering the cost of the plantings or sign you may do so here.