A brand new, luxury hotel in a glorious garden setting was officially declared open on 2 August when the Dorset Wildlife Trust unveiled Knoll Gardens’ new bee hotel.
The bee hotel was built off-site by DWT staff and volunteers and installed as part of the Knoll Gardens Foundation’s on-going work to research and promote wildlife-friendly gardening. The unveiling took place on the same day as volunteers from DWT and Knoll undertook the latest garden wildlife survey as part of the DWT Great Heath Project.
Knoll’s new bee hotel will provide much-needed homes for solitary bees, whose numbers have been in decline in recent years through loss of habitat and safe nesting sites. While they do not produce honey or wax, they carry out a vital role in pollinating flowers, crops and trees, and are considerably more proficient than the better known honey bee.
There are around 250 species of solitary bee in Britain, many of which live in our gardens. As the name suggests, they live alone, building individual nests in tunnels or holes in the ground. The new hotel will provide them, and many other insects, with instant accommodation.
Nicky Hoar from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, said, “We were delighted to get involved in making a bee hotel for Knoll Gardens. We know from our wildlife surveys here that the gardens are home to many bees and other insects, so this is a great place to not only provide them with a little extra help but also to showcase what all of us can do in our gardens on a smaller scale.
“We would like to thank our volunteers, especially Andy Fear, who designed and made this exclusive and beautiful home for bees, and our Green Team volunteers who spent many hours cutting up bamboo to fill it! We hope that the bees and Knoll’s many human visitors will enjoy it for many years to come.”
Neil Lucas, a trustee of the Knoll Gardens Foundation said, “The Dorset Wildlife Trust has supported us on a number of garden wildlife projects, including an annual garden survey. With its help we are now building a real picture of the wildlife to be found in the garden at Knoll and beginning to understand how best to support both resident and visiting birds and animals. The Knoll Gardens Foundation exists to help gardeners reduce the environmental impact of their plots and increase their appeal to wildlife. The more we can learn about the way our local flora and fauna interact, the better placed we will be to help other gardeners across the country.”
Knoll Gardens is just outside Wimborne in east Dorset. The garden and award-winning nursery is open from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. For more information on the work of the Foundation, go to www.knollgardensfoundation.org. For garden information, go to www.knollgardens.co.uk or call 01202 873931.