Sometimes the greatest ventures can begin with a simple idea. Here at United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes, this has been proven time and time again.
Amidst all of the work that goes in to creating Edwin Binney’s Community Garden, we came across one small problem.
“The point of this garden is to provide food security to the community but we can’t do that without our friendly neighbourhood pollinators,” explained Projects and Communications Coordinator, Elly Millington.
So, how would we attract bees and other pollinators to our garden? Luckily, Robbie Preston, and his friends from the Pollinator Action Committee were there to answer our question.
For several years, Preston has been in the business of making bee nests and selling kits to people so they can assemble on their own. For him, this project started at home when he decided to find a simple solution to make his garden more pollinator-friendly.
The idea was easy, and nests can be assembled with a few small cardboard tubes or reeds and a few pieces of wood to hold it together, or by simply drilling holes into a block of untreated wood. However, Preston said that what we had in mind was “a major venture.”
A large-scale garden project calls for large-scale accommodations for pollinators. So, along with 12 nests, Millington wanted to build a bee hotel.
“This is super creative, I’d never think about bees being in a hotel. I immediately thought it was an awesome idea and one that so many people would get a laugh out of,” said General Manager of Days Inn and Suites, Lindsay, Candace Buckley. Not only was Buckley on board, she explained through laughter, the hotel’s employees thought it was a great idea too.
The 26-year-old manager explained that the sponsorship for this project was larger than most businesses might be on board for, but as someone who has grown up, worked, and volunteered in Lindsay, she wanted to give back.
“There are so many things in our community that I didn’t know about until I started working and volunteering here,” said Buckley. “I hope this encourages other people in the community to get involved.”
Kawartha Lakes was the seventh of 24 Canadian cities registered as ‘bee-friendly’ by Bee City Canada. The organization’s website lists planting native plants, avoiding pesticides and making places for bees to nest and lay their eggs as ways to attract solitary bees.
The bee hotel will be revealed on Saturday, June 8 at our Grand Unveiling Garden Party. To purchase your tickets and learn more, please call (705) 878-5081, or email Elly at firstname.lastname@example.org.