A room of their own is the bees’ knees

Wild bee-keeper explains why bees need their own space
Image of queen white-tailed bumblebee

Queen white-tailed bumblebee © Nick Upton/2020Vision

Providing nest boxes is a great way to look after our wild bees, such as bumblebees, according to wild bee-keeper George Pilkington. He ran a Bee Nesting Boxes and Hygiene workshop with us recently and showed how when it comes to finding a home, these fascinating pollinators aren’t keen on sharing with other insects but need ‘a room of their own’.

George, who runs Nurturing Nature, an environmental consultancy, is an expert in bee research. Speaking at the event in Egremont, he explained: “Bug hotels are great for any number of insects, beetles, centipedes etc. But these insects also eat or lay their eggs in bees' nests, so the bees need their own homes. Different bees have different needs as well, for example bumblebee queens like dry, north-facing, empty mouse holes while solitary bee females prefer south-facing, deep tube-like holes in wood, free from cracks and pests.”

Lucy Graham, Coastlines Development Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “It was a fascinating workshop and we learned a lot about bee housekeeping and hygiene.  We shall share the helpful information and research on bee homes with the public as we want to encourage people to create space for wild bees in their gardens. We need to look after our wild bees, such as bumblebees and solitary bees. They are our best pollinators. Just one red mason bee equals 120 worker honeybees in its pollination ability!”

Lucy continued: “Here at Cumbria Wildlife Trust we already offer advice on providing bug hotels for insects such as beetles and centipedes, but we can see that bees need their own space and these specially-designed nest boxes are ideal.”

More information about nest boxes for wild bees 

We need to look after our wild bees, such as bumblebees and solitary bees. They are our best pollinators!
Lucy Graham
Coastlines Development Officer, Cumbria Wildlife Trust