By: Kay Johnson, PROSOCO’s sustainability and environment manager
While they may not be the most talked-about species of bee, native bees are just as important to our ecosystem because they play the important role of pollinator. In fact, they’re more efficient pollinators than honeybees, recent studies have shown.
The continued decline of these insects could negatively affect all types of organisms – from the fruits and vegetables we eat, to the livestock that eat insect-pollinated plants. Native bees represent a crucial link in the food production chain. If we don’t have bees, we don’t have certain vegetables, fruits and flowers.
One way to reverse the native bees’ well-documented decline is to provide a suitable habitat. Solitary, native bees need tunnel-like openings to lay eggs, nest and live.
That’s where PROSOCO’s bee hotel project began. Working with architects at Clark | Huesemann and the local University of Kansas Biological Survey, PROSOCO staff members built the hotel. We recruited our families and a local Girl Scout troop to help build the different “rooms” of the hotel – including 1,400 paper rooms, 1,600 bamboo rooms and 45 wood rooms. The hotel is a sustainable resting space for solitary pollinator bees, which make up 90 percent of the bee population.
Conserving resources is an important facet of our business at PROSOCO. We make products for the construction industry that are engineered to maximize energy efficiency while leaving a minimal impact on the environment. In fact, the bee hotel was built with one of PROSOCO’s products. R-Guard Cat 5 Rain Screen was installed on the hotel to offer waterproof protection and also enable the structure to ventilate.
The hotel is just one example of the sustainability and corporate responsibility projects PROSOCO has undertaken in the last year. The project made sense for our business, our people and our community— the bee hotel was a perfect fit with the nearby University of Kansas, which welcomed its installation on its restored prairie.
This project started as a way for PROSOCO to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Apple Day of Service, a movement to ensure the future for children by conserving energy and resources today, and involving children in those conservation projects.
We hope to inspire other companies to build their own bee hotels for their local bees. Find what sustainability commitment and corporate responsibility initiative makes the most sense for your company and act on it. Then, tell people about it so they can learn from and be encouraged by your leadership. Every company should have a bee hotel story.
For more information on PROSOCO’s bee hotel or its work in general, contact Kay Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 785-830-7323.