It was a hive of activity at Katoomba High School yesterday, with the installation of five new luxury bee “hotels”.
The bee boxes were made in woodwork class by the students. They are filled with sticks and wood with small holes drilled through them, providing the perfect home for native bees.
The hotels have all been hand-decorated and are appropriately named: Swarm Inside, Bee-lieve Inn, Air Bee-and-Bee, The Bee’s Knees and Bee Happy.
Jane Anderson from council’s Bushcare group was on hand to explain the importance of bees for pollination.
“We are losing pollinators because of urbanisation and habitat destruction,” she said. “And no bees means no food.”
The groups of students worked together attaching the bee boxes to trees in Birriban, the native bushland area adjacent to the school. Three were placed in the bush tucker garden and two others elsewhere on the property.
While they worked, others planted species of bee-friendly plants, including native daisies, nearby.
Industrial arts teacher Chris Byrne said the students loved making the “hotels”, which would surely rate as 5-star accommodation.
The project was timed to coincide with national Pollinator Week, when schools, community groups, garden clubs and other organisations come together to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators.
Bees are amongst the most effective and well known pollinators because they actively collect pollen from flowers to feed their offspring. As they do this they transfer thousands of pollen grains between flowers.
The plants near the bee hotels are likely to attract a range of native bees, Ms Anderson said.