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Bayer housing project a hit with residents!

Bees need shelter and forage for survival

Apr 23, 2014
Bayer housing project a hit with residents!

Bayer housing project a hit with residents!

Just like honey bees, wild bees are also suffering from unexplained declines and we can all contribute to their survival and well-being. Building an insect home to attract bees to your garden is a triple win situation: You will gain some friendly and peaceful garden inhabitants who offer free pollinating services to your shrubs,trees, flowers and vegetables. Bees will benefit from the safe haven you offer them for nesting and protection from the weather. And setting up a bee residence in your garden or balcony and watching the beneficial insects buzzing along throughout the season, can be a fun pastime for you and your children.

Of course it is possible to buy a pre-fabricated insect hotel which will provide a perfect home for bee larvae and other beneficial insects. But why not have a go at building your own? All you need is to drill 6 – 10mm holes in wooden logs and collect different sized stones, and pile them in a sunny place in the garden, using bamboo pieces which are roughly 15 cm long and pine cones to fill the gaps. Then give your insect residence a roof to keep it dry, turn its opening to face southeast, and protect its northern side with a wooden board.

Contrary to what their name might suggest, they are peaceful and cute little insects that do not have a sting. There are more than 2,500 species of wild solitary bees in Europe and they play an important role in the pollination of apples, pears, zucchinis (courgettes), pumpkins, tomatoes, wild flowers and ornamental shrubs. So it might be a good idea to make them feel at home in your garden.

Even a simple insect home made just from bamboo stalks of differing widths offers refuge and protection for useful garden insects.

In the past few years, many European Bayer sites have planted blooming strips to offer forage and nesting opportunities for wild bees and other pollinators and to help communicate the need for planting more habitats to help protect these beneficial insects. As part of our 2014 campaign “Pollination Matters”, several sites have added insect homes this spring, among them Monheim and Leverkusen in Germany, and Lyon in France. Gillian Mansfield, a member of the Bee Care Team in Monheim, explains the rationale: “This year we are promoting the valuable service that pollinators provide in helping supply a lot of the food that we eat. These insect hotels are on-site eye-catchers and will help us to give people a better appreciation of the need to protect all our pollinators.”


A new insect hotel at our Lyon site was unveiled recently as part of the events surrounding the Week for Sustainable Development .
 

Placed on our Chishill Farm site in the UK, an insect hotel demonstrates a simple way in which pollinator protection and farming practices can work side by side.

 

A first class residence: The new insect hotels in Monheim include six sections with assorted sheltering options for different pollinators. The first residents moved in straight away.

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