Solitary bee high-rises have new residents

irrigation-free landscape workshop Minneapolis landscape design drought-tolerant PRAIRIEFORM solitary bee habitat
One of the solitary bee high-rises in the irrigation-free landscape, with two new residents on the first and second floors

The solitary bee high-rises in the irrigation-free landscape started as simply an idea and an experiment. The clients for the project wanted a sculptural element in the landscape, and we latched on to the idea of birch snags popping up out of waving grasses and perennials. Still, we thought perhaps we could take the idea a step further and have the sculptures double as wildlife habitat (as snags are such huge wildlife attractors in forests), and then we came up with the idea of drilling holes up the side of one birch limb within each cluster of three, with the idea that solitary bees would be drawn both to the flowers in the landscape and then to a place to nest in the snags. Well, the experiment has actually worked, as, as of August 4, two of the holes had been covered up with mud, an indication that bees had taken up residence in them. We will be eager to see how many more bees choose to use the high-rises as temporary living space for their offspring.

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