Explore a flower patch with a bee hotel

Show kids the importance of bee habitats like flower patches. Help provide a safe place for the buzzers—which pollinate an estimated one-third of the food we eat—by building a bee hotel near this important microhabitat.

What you’ll need:
• Clean, empty metal can
• About 50 hollow bamboo stakes (available online or at most garden stores); you can also use paper straws if your hotel will be sheltered from weather
• Scissors or garden clippers
• String or twine
• Paints and paintbrushes (optional)

Unlike bumblebees and honeybees, solitary bees don’t form colonies and live in hives, so this bee hotel is the perfect place for a female to lay her eggs. Once she does, she’ll leave some food behind and seal up the nest in the bamboo stake. While there, the eggs will go through the larval and pupal stages before becoming adults after several weeks. Once the weather gets warmer the following spring, the bee swill emerge. Since one female can lay up to 20 eggs, the bee hotel could produce up to a thousand pollinators!

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