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Gardener reveals surprising yard decoration that can help you grow a lush garden: 'I had no idea what they were'

"Oh, that's what they are!"

Garden with bee hotels

Photo Credit: @mygardenburner / Instagram

We've heard of hotels for people, and maybe even hotels for dogs, but what about a hotel for bees

Instagram gardener Matt Cooper (@mygardenburner) is sharing the scoop on bee hotels, which are essentially birdhouses for bees

When we think of bees, we often think of entire hives and looming swarms. But it's a little-known fact that some bee species prefer solitude. Cue the bee hotel. 

The scoop

Made either of wooden blocks with holes or emptied-out corks, bee hotels offer small holes for roaming pollinators to shelter from weather, hide from predators, or lay their eggs. 

As Cooper points out in his video, you can DIY your bee hotel with some pretty common household objects — or simply buy one

How it's helping

Over the years, a lot of us have heard the case for saving one of the hardest-working pollinators. But their importance really can't be overstated.

Bees are one of the Earth's pollinators, responsible for giving us various foods and medicines. Pollination occurs when insects, birds, and bats (among other animals occasionally) travel from one plant to the next, fertilizing the plant with the pollen that sticks to them. That pollen transfer results in cross-pollination. 

This pollination is so vital that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that one-third of the world's food production depends on pollinators like bees.

And like Cooper mentions in the video, solitary bees like mason bees can do as much as 120 times the pollinating of honey bees or bumble bees. 

The warming of our planet, along with pesticides used in agricultural practices, has resulted in a major decrease in bee populations. While not all of us can take up bee-keeping in our spare time, bee hotels offer an easy way to make our gardens and yards a more welcoming habitat. 

What everyone's saying

Many commenters were excited by the bee hotels, saying they'd be adding the insect houses to their gardens come spring. 

"I love it, I think I might add one to my garden, hopefully attracting the native bees." @peake_patch, another gardener, posts

Another commenter was pleased to finally find out what those "weird birdhouses" were that they had seen around their neighborhood. 

"Oh THAT'S what they are!" the user writes. "They are ALL OVER Portland, ME, where I moved [six months] ago, and I had no idea what they were ... I thought people were throwing away weird birdhouses."

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