Pune Conservationist Builds Tallest Bee Hotel to Shelter Native Bees

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Pune, 20th May 2024: In celebration of World Bee Day, Pune-based bee conservationist Devendra Jani has unveiled the tallest bee hotel, designed to provide shelter for native solitary bees. World Bee Day, marked annually on May 20th by the United Nations, aims to raise awareness about the crucial role of bees as pollinators, the threats they face, and their contribution to sustainable development. This year’s theme is “Bee engaged with Youth.”

Bee hotels are structures that offer rest and nesting sites for solitary pollinator bees, which typically nest in hollow plant stems, holes in dead wood, or other natural cavities. These bee hotels mimic such natural habitats, offering a safe haven for these important pollinators.

In the lead-up to World Bee Day, Jani conducted two educational sessions aimed at engaging Pune’s youth. At the Rahul Rupa Bajaj Centre in Empress Garden, he discussed the importance of bees, while at TomTom India, he inspired young professionals with leadership lessons drawn from bee behavior.

“Unlike honey bees, which live in large hives, solitary bees nest in wood logs or mud burrows. These native solitary bees are actually more effective pollinators than honey bees. In a busy city like Pune, where old trees and dry wood are scarce, providing dedicated nesting places is essential,” explained Jani.

Common solitary bees in the area include Leafcutter Bees, Carpenter Bees, Mason Bees, Cuckoo Bees, and Blue Banded Bees. These species play a vital role in pollinating one-third of the world’s food supply. Without bees, food scarcity would pose a significant threat to global populations.

Jani highlighted that the rampant use of pesticides and fungicides in agriculture has driven native bee populations towards urban areas. He encouraged citizens to create their own bee hotels at home using simple materials like bamboo and paper straws, which can attract species like Leafcutter Bees.

The official inauguration of the tallest bee hotel is scheduled for next month, marking a significant step towards raising awareness and providing much-needed support for native bee conservation.

By fostering an environment conducive to the well-being of solitary bees, Jani’s initiative not only supports biodiversity but also promotes sustainable urban living.