As Idaho’s population continues to grow rapidly, increased infrastructure and housing developments are causing a detrimental effect on the natural habitat of native pollinators. Insects like the monarch butterfly, the state insect of Idaho, and the western bumble bee are struggling to thrive, and their numbers are declining steeply.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) Biology instructor, Dusty Perkins, along with members of the College’s Biology Club and Machine Tool Technology Program, are hosting a native bee nesting habitat building workshop at this year’s Connections Project.
“Making structures with cavities is a really good way to provide nesting sites for bees,” Perkins commented. “Placing these structures in conjunction with other pollinator friendly landscapes can help bolster pollinator populations and can cause a diversity hotspot for insects.”
During this workshop, participants will help construct simple and effective pollinator habitat blocks that will be used to enhance existing pollinator-beneficial landscape features at CWI’s Nampa Campus Academic Building including the Native Plant Garden, campus vegetable garden, pot in pot tree nursery, and an experimental milkweed garden.
Members of the community are encouraged to participate in the workshop by helping to build and decorate the habitat blocks. Participants will have the opportunity to put their name on the block they build and will be notified once the block is installed on campus. The habitats will be maintained and monitored by faculty, students, and volunteers.
Be sure to stop by the pollinator habitat building event at the Connections Project April 25 from 3 – 8 p.m. at the Nampa Campus Academic Building. The event is free and open to the public.