The future of food may involve state-of-the-art technologies and innovative farming practices but, essentially, the health and security of our food system still rely heavily on nature’s beloved wild pollinators. That’s why ensuring that these tiny insects stay hidden from the wrath of the climate crisis is so important if we are to feed the world’s rapidly growing population in the decades to come.
In Colorado, the task of saving bees from the consequences of climate change has fallen to the girls who sell us the best cookies. Yes, that’s right, over the summer, at a Girl Scout day camp in Denver, Girl Scout troops fashioned tiny homes for wild bees, called “bee hotels”, to fight the depopulation of bees across the country. The project is part of a new initiative, called Think Like A Citizen Scientist Journey, in which girls from grades 6 through 12 develop real-world sustainable projects to create change
Bee hotels are like birdhouses for wild bees. Since wild bees don’t make honey, they don’t live in hives, but they’re always in need of suitable habitat. Out in the wild, these bees often nest in holes in fallen logs, dead trees, and broken branches of bushes. But natural habitats can be hard to come by in developed areas, which is where bee hotels come in.
After engineering the bee hotels from repurposed cardboard boxes, old paper straws, toilet paper rolls, and other materials, the Girl Scout troops went out to install them in green pockets of their community.
What’s beautiful about this initiative is that, in addition to helping maintain the population of these hidden heroes of our food system, the bee hotel project also plays an important role in building a new generation of engaged citizens.