Building Hotels For VIP Bees!

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Bee's NeedsBee's Needs

There was a real buzz down on the allotment in Reigate this weekend, as gardeners gathered to help bees on their patch, building special ‘bee hotels’ to host VIPs - or ‘Very Important Pollinators’!

There was a real buzz down on the allotment in Reigate this weekend, as gardeners gathered to help bees on their patch, building special ‘bee hotels’ to host VIPs - or ‘Very Important Pollinators’!

Surrey Wildlife Trust and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council are working in partnership on the ‘Bee’s Needs’ project, turning the unproductive, unused spaces in local allotments into important wildlife habitat. Thanks to a £4,000 grant from DEFRA, new wildlife features will be introduced at several local allotments, including wildflower areas, native hedgerows and bee homes.

Allotment holders from across Reigate and Banstead came together on Saturday for a free ‘Bee’s Needs’ workshop, learning how to make insect hotels to attract those all important pollinators to their plots.

“Bees play a vital role in our complex ecosystem and it’s amazing to think they are responsible for pollinating about every third mouthful of food that we eat - for free!” said Dawn Fielding, the Trust’s Wildlife Gardening Officer.

“Allotments make great bee habitat, with more bee sightings than in parks, gardens and the wider countryside. All these green spaces act as stepping stones, allowing wildlife to move across our urban areas and are vital in providing a living landscape where wildlife can thrive.”

The workshop was held at Paddock Allotment in Woodhatch Road and allotment holders and their families soon got stuck in, using drills and saws to make their bee hotels. The houses were built using untreated wood and topped off with a waterproof roof. They were then filled with cut bamboo and small logs, into which small holes were drilled, to make space for bees to lay their eggs.

There are 3 types of bee; honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees and all are facing decline due to a lack of food. There are simply not enough nectar and pollen rich flowers out there and those available are often doused in harmful pesticides.

“It was a fantastic turn-out at our Reigate workshop and we all had great fun, learnt a lot and helped local bees,” added Dawn. “We hope that the Bee’s Needs project will provide inspiration for other allotments and community spaces across Surrey.”

Find out how to make your garden more wildlife friendly

Find out more about wild bees and how to attract them into your patch

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, Species, Wildlife gardening