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The Big Bee Hotel Experiment

Project Contact: Isobel Sexton


Running: March to September 2024

About this project

The Buzz Club has partnered with The Wildlife Community to bring you The Big Bee Hotel Experiment. Anyone who has a solitary bee hotel in their garden can take part!

Most of UK's bees are solitary and do not live in colonies like bumblebees or honeybees. They are very important pollinators, but tend not to be as well-known about as their social relatives. Many are 'cavity nesting' bees, with the females creating individual 'cells' inside tunnels using mud or leaves, into which they lay an egg. Each cell is then packed full of pollen, providing food for the larvae as it grows over the Summer. The offspring then hibernate to emerge in Spring as new adults. 

Did you know that we have approximately 270 species of bee in the UK and 250 of those are solitary?

We want to investigate what bees favour in solitary bee hotels and how to make them optimal for as many different bee species as possible. Finding this out will help us conserve pollinators in our gardens across the UK and help protect them against threats such as climate change!

Anyone who completes this project will be entered into a £250 voucher prize draw, courtesy of The Wildlife Community!

How can you help?

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All you need to take part in this project is to have a bee hotel and access to the internet: 1) Register your bee hotel using the button at the top of this page 2) send us a photo of your hotel 3) send us a photo of your hotel once a month until September.

Bee hotels:

You can register any branded bee hotel for this project, along with any DIY hotel.We have designed a Buzz Club approved bee hotel with The Wildlife Community. The Wildlife Community also have lots of other designs that you can try out as well! If you would prefer to make your own hotel, find out how to below! Note: if you are taking part in our Air Bee 'n' Bee Project, you can also use that hotel to take part in this Big Bee Hotel Experiment.

What do you get out of it?

By taking part in this project, you will be contributing to real science and will help to conserve bee species across the UK. You will also be encouraging more pollinators to visit your garden, increasing its ecological value and productivity. You will become familiar with some of the lesser-known bees e.g. mason bees and leafcutters, and get to observe one of the key stages of their lifecycles - the laying of eggs and capping them safely in your hotel until they are ready to emerge in Spring!

Hear from Project Lead, Prof. Dave Goulson:

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