Bee our guest: New hotels have guests buzzing

Published 5:00am 11 May 2023

Bee our guest: New hotels have guests buzzing
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

The township of Dayboro is abuzz with thousands of guests checking into several new hotels that have popped up around the region.

These hotels aren’t for humans though, but rather much smaller visitors – Native Stingless Bees to be exact.

The specially made bee hotels have been created through a special partnership between the Dayboro Men’s Shed and the children from the Dayboro Community Kindergarten.

Brian Whitlow from The Dayboro Men’s Shed, along with Kevin Taylor, made 20 bee hotels for the kindergarten.

“We decided to make the kindy little bee hotels because they are easy to make and are small enough that they can be placed just about anywhere,” Brian said.

“We made all the components for the bee hotels and then assembled them in front of the kids.

“I have been involved with the kindy for just over a year now, helping with various jobs and teaching the kids how to use hand tools and other basic skills.

“Working with the kids is one of the best things I have done in a long time – they have taught me so much more than what I have taught them.”

Once the bee hotels were completed, students from the two classes at Dayboro Community Kindergarten worked in pairs to decorate and name their hotels.

The kids were extremely creative when it came to naming their hotels. There were no Hiltons or Best Westerns here, but more unique names such as the Unicorn Cupcake Hotel, Super Action Hotel, Bossy Bunny Hotel, Raspberry Ballet Hotel and Sonic Pooh Bear Hotel, just to name a few.

The kids learning about bees ties nicely into the theme of this year’s Dayboro Show, which is bees and honey.

Under the guidance of a local artist, the kids have also been drawing pictures of native bees, which will go on display at the show.

How bee hotels work

Brian was first inspired to start making bee hotels after seeing a segment about them on Gardening Australia a few years ago.

Since then, he estimates he has made and sold between 700 and 800 bee hotels.

Brian said the hotels provided bees with a safe space to lay their eggs.

“The female bee will fly into one of the holes in the bee hotel and lay her eggs. She will then seal the hole and fly off,” Brian said.

“When the young bees hatch, they will eat their way out of the hole and start the whole process again.

“Generally, the bees will come back to lay their eggs where they were born.”

Celebrate World Bee Day

On May 20, the world will recognise the significance of bees and the contributions they make to the ecosystem as part of World Bee Day.

Bees are responsible for pollinating many of the world's food crops, ensuring the production of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are critical to our food supply.

For more information about bees, as well as tips on how to attract more bees to your backyard, visit the World Bee Day website.

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