Native bee hotel open for guests

The native been hotel won the People’s Choice Award for Implemented Ideas in the Department of the Environment’s 2015 Awards for Innovation.

There’s a new hotel open in Canberra but this one doesn’t offer the usual concierge services or crisp white linen. Instead it’s an enhanced habitat for native bees.

Department of the Environment Secretary, Gordon de Brouwer, today unveiled the Australian Native Bee Hotel in the Australian National Botanic Gardens, accompanied by ABC TV’s Dirt Girl.

Australia is home to over 2,000 native bees that play an essential role in the pollination of native plant species as well as in crop pollination. However, in recent decades there has been a significant decline in native bee habitats - especially in urban areas.

The bee hotel was developed by the Bush Blitz species discovery programme and staff at the Gardens. Native bee experts Katja Hogendoorn from the University of Adelaide and Remko Keijs from the Adelaide Museum, helped to determine which bee species occur in the Gardens, what was the most appropriate site, and which bees were most likely to use the ‘hotel’.

The hotel’s timber hollows and separate rooms are an ideal environment for an array of native bees to establish multiple hives, and will raise awareness of the role native bees play in a healthy ecosystem.

Following the unveiling Dr de Brouwer, Dirt Girl and students from Maribyrnong Primary School installed rooms they had made.

Tanya, Parks Australia