Our new bug hotels are the bees knees
04 May 2021
Vice Principal of HoW College and Eco Group member Peter Robinson and Emma Hunt PA to the Principal with their newly acquired bug hotels.
Life has just become a whole lot better for Worcestershire's bees and bugs as Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College) has taken delivery of thirty bug houses, built by volunteers from the Worcester Environment Group.
Made from surplus materials donated by Japanese machine tool maker Mazak, the houses are part of the College's new Eco initiative. The aim is to reduce the College's carbon footprint and promote a range of wider environmental and sustainability actions everyone can take. Staff and students are all being encouraged to play their part, both at College and in their own homes and gardens.
Vice Principal Peter Robinson is a member of the Eco group.
"To kickstart the initiative, we commissioned The WEG to produce a set of solitary bee hotels for us to give away to staff in order to raise awareness of our new group and the plight of bees." That plight is becoming increasingly serious - around 10% of Europe's wild bee species now face extinction, because of habitat loss, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease.
The boxes are modelled on those used by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. They are fitted with removable nesting trays and bespoke nest holes, where the solitary bees can lay their eggs. The overhanging apex roof will protect bees from the rain and metal fastenings ensure secure siting.
Bees are best-known for making honey, but honey bees are not native to these shores. The majority of our 270+ species are feral and live solitary existences, rather than in large colonies. The new boxes are primarily for two common species - the leafcutter and the red mason - neither of which produces honey. They are also expected to provide accommodation for species like beetles, ladybirds and spiders.
Bees are highly efficient pollinators of wildflowers and fruit and vegetable crops and Peter Robinson says the new acquisitions will enable them to continue playing a vital role in ecosystems and the economy. "We're really pleased with the end product – in fact, you could say we think they're the bee's knees! Thank you to The Worcester Environmental Group volunteers!"