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Bij zonder Huis organises workshops where sustainable bee hotels are made from recycled materials.
Spread throughout Utrecht, they try to give a workshop at least once a month, where you learn everything about making, maintaining and making a success of a bee hotel. The workshops are offered free of charge and Bij zonder Huis depends on voluntary donations.
Which bees live in the Netherlands?
There are about 370 different bee species in the Netherlands. In our gardens that is about twenty to fifty species. These bees all have an individual specific build, lifestyle and varying times of activity. They can also be either social or solitary. Unfortunately, things are not going so well for the bees these days.
Solitary (wild) bees are very important for the pollination of plants, much of which is our food. These solitary bees are different from, for example, honey bees, which live in a colony and are directed by a queen bee.
Unfortunately, things are not going so well for wild bees these days. The populations are declining in large numbers. The strong fragmentation of nature areas by large-scale agriculture of cereals, for example, has resulted in a shortage of food for bees.
Bees in the urban environment
In the past, there was plenty of room around inhabited areas for bees nesting above ground to settle. They did this, for example, in wildly overgrown pieces of land, rotting wood, holes in joints or in soft mortar. Nowadays, urban areas are very efficiently built up. Almost every hole and crack has been bricked up. As a result, there are few such places left where these bees can settle.
How can we save the bees?
The easiest way to help the bees without a home is to green our backyards, balconies, flowerbeds and roofs. By creating nesting opportunities and providing these places with food, we can help the bees.
Placing a bee hotel in combination with plants and flowers suitable for bees already makes a big change. By fulfilling the requirements set by bees, a solitary mason bee or bell bee will be happy to settle in your bee hotel.
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