Students taking the Design for Sustainability paper, within the School of Art and Design have created a solitary bee hotel on the North campus. Generally, solitary bees don't live in hives, like honeybees. They are often native bees and make nests to lay eggs. Many native bees are the most effective at pollinating native plants, such as manuka, kanuka and pohutukawa.
The students were given a design brief by Senior Lecturer, Dr Amabel Hunting and Rory Chacko, Estates Operations Manager to:
- Create a physical environment that supports solitary bee life
- Educate people about what they can do to support solitary bees; and
- Design a response that takes into consideration the needs of bees and people.
The students formed teams and the best ideas from each of the teams were combined to produce a home that is sympathetic to solitary bees.
Dr Hunting said, "the solitary bee project enabled the students to learn about systems thinking in a practical and applied way. The opportunity to design a response that had real-world implications resulted in a high level of engagement in the classroom and well-developed design responses. They also had a lot of fun and many have commented about how passionate they have become about bees and the importance of considering the ecological aspect in their future designs."
For more information about native bees visit For the love of bees
You can support bees by planting bee-friendly plants that produce nectar and pollen and not spray pesticides in your garden.