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Goodwill Alberta installs ‘bee hotel’ in Edmonton to help solitary pollinators thrive

Click to play video: 'Goodwill Alberta installs ‘bee hotels’ to help pollinators' Goodwill Alberta installs ‘bee hotels’ to help pollinators
WATCH ABOVE: Mortimer Capriles with Goodwill Industries Alberta speaks about how the organization is marking Earth Day, including with the installation of "bee hotels." – Apr 22, 2021

Goodwill Industries of Alberta has launched a special hotel in Edmonton that you can only check into if you’re a fuzzy, half-inch tall pollinator.

If that doesn’t sound like you, don’t worry — if you’re reading this you’re likely not a solitary bee.

But for the proud pollinators, a new bee hotel was installed at the Goodwill Impact Centre in northwest Edmonton Thursday in honour of Earth Day.

“Pollinators all around the globe, they’re declining at alarming rates,” said Mortimer Capriles, the director of sustainability for Goodwill Industries Alberta

“One third of the food we eat depends on pollinators. Pollinators are key for the health of our eco-systems.”

The majority of bees in Alberta are solitary bees that do not live in hives. The solitary bees live alone, don’t produce honey or wax, and lay their eggs in tree cavities or holes in the ground. They are also key pollinators in the province.

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The concept of a bee hotel gives those crucial bugs a spot to safely nest.

Read more: Calgary kids abuzz with excitement at Alberta’s first Bee School

Capriles said the Goodwill bee hotel also used sustainable materials.

“We have a plastic planter that was made entirely of plastic flakes that were granulated at the amazing Goodwill Impact Centre in Edmonton,” he said. “The post was put together using parts from a broken bed. The bee hotel… was made by volunteers from the Edmonton and Area Land Trust.”

A bee hotel made of entirely sustainable materials at the Goodwill Impact Centre in Edmonton. Courtesy / Goodwill Industries of Alberta

Capriles said that using plastic the Impact Centre broke down in the planter that hosts the bee hotel is just one way the centre helps divert items away from the landfill.

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“It’s all about making a positive impact on the environment, and it’s about showcasing our commitment to sustainability,” he said. “Goodwill diverts 16 million kilos from the landfill each year.”

The company also works to refurbish broken furniture that is donated in an effort to also keep those out of landfills.

“We’re training people with disabilities on how to refurbish these items so then they can pursue a job later outside of Goodwill, when at the same time we are making beautiful pieces that we’re selling in our retail stores,” Capriles said. “All those items used to go to the landfill.”

The company also held an Alberta-wide city cleanup event in honour of Earth Day, sending employees out into its store neighborhoods to pick up trash.

Click to play video: 'Pair of U of S students doing their part saving bees with bee hotels' Pair of U of S students doing their part saving bees with bee hotels
Pair of U of S students doing their part saving bees with bee hotels – Dec 8, 2019

Edmonton and Area Land Trust has instructions available online on how to create your own bee hotel.

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