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Bee Hotels are the Bee’s Knees

 

August 31, 2021

Returning a Local Park to the Native Prairie It Once Was

The Loveland Garden Club (LGC), in collaboration with the city of Omaha, has been working on returning a local park back to the native prairie it once was. As part of a five-year master plan for Pacific Preserve, club members are working to entice pollinators back to this twenty-acre park. This includes both planting native plants and providing homes for native bees. Recently, LGC members met to hammer, glue, drill, cut, and paint a number of colorful “bee hotels” to install throughout the park.

When most people think about bees, they think about sociable honeybees. However, there are hundreds of species of “solitary bees” and over ninety percent do not live in colonies. Not only are the bee hotels an attractive addition to the park, they provide shelters for solitary females to lay their eggs. An increased population of these bees helps to ensure that plant communities stay healthy by providing essential pollination. These bees also work well in public park settings as they tend to be non-aggressive and do not swarm.

LGC members also assisted in planting over 250 native plants provided by a grant from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. The native plants will provide essential resources of pollen and nectar for the pollinators attracted by the bee hotels. The club has committed to cleaning out the hotels once a year to continue providing ample nesting opportunities. 

 
 

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