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Protecting Pollinators with Bee Hotels

Q&A’s with Kate Edwards

Where are you from? What place do you currently call home and why?
I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. I have lived in the same neighbourhood for all of my life, so I am very close with my neighbours. It is a small, tight-knit, and supportive community that truly feels like a second family. This strong sense of community is part of what inspired me to give back by enriching our communal garden with bee hotels!

What are you passionate about? What are your hobbies?
Dance is one of my main passions in life, and I have been doing it for as long as I can remember! It brings me so much joy and is such an incredible creative outlet to express myself. To continue my passion for dance while attending university, I joined a student dance company at the University of Alberta. It is truly inspiring to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share my dedication for school and dance. Alongside dance, another passion of mine is science. I volunteer with a student volunteer group which gives science presentations to elementary school students. It is so rewarding to see that I have inspired young students and shared my passion for science with them. In fact, I was also able to teach the children in my neighbourhood about ecology and the importance of bees to the environment through my bee hotel project!

How did the idea for this project come to you?
Over the past few summers, I have spent quite a bit of time maintaining our community garden. Spending this time in the garden, as well as my passion for science inspired me to make bee hotels for the garden. Bees are essential to the environment and have many important roles in ecosystems — such as pollinating plants. Creating a structure in which bees could rest close to our garden crops would not only help bee populations, but also increase our garden crop yield!

How did your community react to your project? Have they been encouraged to get involved in any other ways?
The community had an incredibly positive reaction to this project. Ultimately, the addition of the bee hotels to our garden benefitted every gardener; this project has increased pollination of plants and garden crops, and as provided a safe place for bees to nest. It was so a rewarding to see my community delighted with the new additions to the garden. As well, I deeply appreciate the support my family provided me with throughout the duration of the project. It is because of their help and encouragement that I was able to complete this project.

In retrospect, what was the impact of your project?
Making the bee hotels was a fun, creative and altruistic project for our community. It brought the children in my community together and encouraged the children to be creative and learn about the importance of bees to ecosystems. Enriching our garden area with bees positively impacted the environment; this project has increased pollination of plants and garden crops, as well as providing a safe place for bees to nest. Overall, this project brought together the community a lot more than I expected. Covid-19 has made it difficult to gather with neighbors and family, but I managed to carry out this project during the pandemic — in a way that brought my community together.

How has the project impacted you in your everyday life?
I think the biggest impact this project had on me was that it improved my leadership and communication skills. I had to coordinate picking up supplies for my project and communicate with families, all of which was complicated by the pandemic and the uncertainties surrounding it. However, I persevered and continued to lead my community in this project. The skills I honed throughout this project — leadership, communication, and determination — continue to serve me well today in both my academics and extracurricular activities.



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