Building the pollinator hotel and hosting a community build event taught us that a project doesn’t have to be large and elaborate to make an impact. We chose to work on a project that was relatively small in scale, yet it will continue to have an impact on the Quest community as well as the greater Squamish community in three main ways:
From hosting the community build event, we were reminded that social media is a powerful tool for engaging the public. Using Facebook and this blog, we were able to reach audiences from Quest and Squamish. Many community members were receptive to the idea of helping pollinators, which gives us hope for the creation of similar projects in Squamish. We learned that it is important to have food and hot drinks for volunteers, especially when it is cold and rainy! Local businesses were enthusiastic about donating coffee and donuts for our cause which we are very thankful for!
Recommendations for other pollinator hotels
For anyone interested in building a pollinator hotel, we hope that you will go ahead and do it! Pollinator hotels come in all shapes and sizes and can be built using relatively cheap (or even free) materials! Before building your own pollinator hotel, we would suggest spending some extra time collecting recycled building materials and natural materials to fill the hotel with. Sourcing recycled and natural materials often takes longer that buying new materials from the store, but it is more environmentally friendly. Reaching out to local businesses and friends for materials would be an easy way to do this, and also cultivates relationships. It is also a good way to get your community into a more eco-conscious mindset.
We could see other successful pollinator hotels around Squamish for education and increased pollination in gardens and wild spaces. Pollinator hotels could be located at places such as the Adventure Centre, the Cheakamus Centre Outdoor School, Squamish Climate Action Network Community Gardens, Rose Garden Park, the Squamish Estuary, Brohm Lake Park, and local elementary schools. Because pollinator hotels very in size, material, and cost, they are relatively easy to tailor to your own backyard, school, or garden. We hope that our pollinator hotel will inspire Squamish community members to install their own pollinator hotels to support local pollinators.
Hopefully, in the future, this project will serve as an inspiration and lead to the creation of other pollinator projects, like pollinator gardens and citizen pollinator monitoring systems.
We would love to see Squamish become a pollinator paradise!
There is now a sign up in front of the pollinator hotel! It explains the importance of pollinator hotels and the life cycle of solitary bees and bumble bees. When you get a chance, come up to Quest to check out our work! You can also click on the PDF below to read the sign.
Community build day was a great success!! Despite the rain, we had a lot of volunteers come out and help. Volunteers did everything from sawing bamboo and drilling holes in logs for nesting habitat to collecting hay and old bricks for small sections of the pollinator hotel.
The pollinator hotel building party was a great opportunity to teach volunteers about pollinators and why they are so important. At the building party we interviewed volunteers about what they learned.
We interviewed bee expert, writer, and professor, Mark Winston about wild bees and what we can do to help them in our own backyard.
Mark is a professor at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Biological Sciences, but is currently located at the Centre for Dialogue. He has been involved with bees for over 40 years.
Here are some links on how you can support wild bees:
The Xerces Society provides information on building nesting habitats for wild bumblebees, ground nesting bees, and cavity nesting bees.
The Vancouver-based Environmental Youth Alliance highlights pollinator support projects underway in the lower mainland. They have a pollinator hotel, pollinator gardens, and a community beekeeping program. Click on the "Bee" tab.
Have fun supporting pollinators in your yard or community!
Check out these photos of other pollinator hotels around the world! Some are so cute and whimsical. You can also google "pollinator hotel" or "insect hotel" for some inspiring photos. Enjoy!
Despite the rain, this afternoon we got to work building the foundation and structure for the pollinator hotel. We dug four holes in the rocky soil and cemented in four cedar posts, which will become the four corners of the hotel. The posts are seven feet tall, so there will be lots of space for hotel rooms!
Be sure to join us on Quest campus this Friday March 20 from 11am-2pm to help us fill up the hotel with materials for bees and other pollinators to nest in!
Today we bought supplies to build the frame of the pollinator hotel. The hotel will be roughly the shape and size of a phone booth and contain little cubby holes for different nesting habitats. We will construct the frame out of solid cedar posts and use plywood shelves to make the cubby holes. We used the wonderful cutting center at Home Depot to cut our wood pieces down to a suitable size. As you can tell, we had a lot of fun!
The first step to building the frame of the pollinator hotel is to dig four post holes and cement the cedar posts into the ground. We chose cedar because it is rot resistant and can withstand harsh weather. We will cement the structure in place so that it will be sturdy and last for many years.
The cedar, plywood, and cement are the only new materials we plan on using. For the rest of the project, we will reuse found objects and buy from Squamish ReBuild in order to make our project as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. We plan to build the frame this weekend so it will be ready for the Pollinator Party next Friday! We hope to see you there!
Students at Quest University Canada are building a pollinator hotel! Pollinator hotels provide a safe, protected space for bees and other pollinators to lay their eggs. This pollinator hotel will provide much needed habitat for pollinators whose habitats are being destroyed for logging, housing projects and agriculture. It is very important to help pollinators survive the winter so that in the spring they can pollinate local wild and food plants.
Come out to Quest University Canada Friday March 20th from 11am to 2pm and help complete the pollinator hotel! We will build the frame and you can help finish the project by adding specific materials for the pollinators to nest in. You can also help by bringing materials to the event such as: wood, logs, bark, reeds, bamboo, bricks, small pipe, pinecones, rope, and dead moss. Check out the pollinator hotels below for some ideas!
We will be posting reminders and updates on this page so check back often.
Hope to see you soon!
Michalina, Max, & Barrett
Michalina, Max, and Barrett are students working on building a pollinator hotel on the Quest University Canada campus! Stay tuned for a community event, pollinator facts, and much much more!!