What is the pollinator house?

A home for solitary-nesting bees

Did you know that different species of bees have different nesting behaviours?

Some bees live cooperatively in colonies similar to those of the European honey bee, while many work and live a solitary life.

There are 4,000 or so species of native bees in the US– 90 percent of which are solitary-nesters. These (often overlooked) garden allies, require and seek out a cosy home to nest in.

Different types of pollinators require different types of homes. They can nest in all types of habitat, from reeds to hollow logs and underground burrows.

Twig & cavity-nesting bees use hollow plant stems or holes in wood for laying their eggs. These solitary bees do not have queens or workers, nor do they store any honey in their tiny nests. These bees are also non-aggressive and do not swarm.

In addition to nesting, some species like to hibernate over winter and are on the lookout for sheltered spaces with plant matter as insulation.

What is a pollinator house, and why do solitary-nesting bees need them?

A pollinator house (or hotel) is a structure which accommodates solitary-nesting native bees by providing cavities in natural materials for them to live in.

Twig-nesting bees will use cavities in dried timber–or craft burrows themselves, if the timber is soft enough–for their pupae cocoons.

Our Flow Pollinator House aims to replicate these ideal nesting conditions for the dual purpose of supporting these incredible insects whilst your garden reaps the rewards of their residence.

This is where you come in–

With bee numbers in decline due to habitat destruction (among other things), having a pollinator house in your garden can help solitary-nesters by providing for them a cosy home to live in and raise their young.

If you would like to create your own pollinator house –  this can be a really satisfying project which may have a great impact for locally residing pollinators.

Alternatively, the Flow Pollinator House is now available for sale– by purchasing this product you not only gain the benefits from creating an appealing home for solitary-nesting bees to take up residence in your garden, but you also participate in working on the bigger picture issue of protecting and conserving habitat corridors for bees worldwide. Flow is proud to be donating 100% of profits from the sale of these houses to organisations hard at work protecting wild habitats all around the world– now that’s sweet!

Pollinators need large areas of habit to flourish– the more we can do to protect and conserve native habitats, the more space these tiny environmental champions will have to do their important work.

For the ground-nesting solitary bees, leaving some areas in your garden a little messy can allow them to successfully raise their young, and keep a safe home.

By providing habitat for pollinators to dwell, as well as planting a plethora of native flowering vegetation, providing a clean water and mud source, and limiting pesticide (including insecticides and herbicides) use, you can do a great deal to help out with the plight of pollinators.

"Ask two beekeepers one question, get three answers."

At Flow, we love to hear from all kinds of beekeepers using all types of methods, but their views are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Flow. We advise reading widely, connecting with your local beekeeping association and finding a mentor as you delve into this fascinating hobby.