Science behind Buginn

Science
Endangered habitat
Current solutions

Science

40% of all pollinators like bees and butterflies are threatened with distinction; this could have a drastic negative impact on biodiversity. But it also impacts humans directly; roughly three-quarters of or agricultural products are dependent on these pollinators. Without pollination there won’t be any crops, without crops there won’t be any food. The last decennium there was a lot of international attention for the honeybee because whole colonies would disappear without nameable cause, the so-called Colony Collapse Disorder. Less known is the fact that solitary bees in the wild are also facing distinction. Solitary bees live by themselves; the searching for food, preparing a nest and laying of the eggs, they will do everything in absence of others. In the Netherlands and Flanders alone there are 360 known species of solitary bees, of which no less than 56% are on the Red List of endangered species.

Endangered habitat

Especially the loss of suitable habitat is to blame on human, because of ever increasing urbanization there will be less and less natural habitat for the solitary bee. The many species of solitary bees are very distinct in appearance and behavior. The different species can have particular preferences on the type of flowers and places to build a nest. Some of them prefer to dig nesting holes in the sandy ground, others in dead wood. Cavities in a brick wall, walls of clay and hollow grass are the chosen shelter for others. In general solitary bees are best of finding their suitable habitat in a messy environment. The current situation in modern urbanization is that more and more streets, parks, and gardens are overly cultivated so a messy environment is difficult to find.

Current solutions

Fortunately, a stream of attention has come to this problem and in recent years solutions to help the solitary bee have come to the market. In many DIY-stores or garden centers, it’s now possible to buy insect hotels: a wooden house filled with bamboo, pinecone, and pieces of wood with drilled holes. Unfortunately, there is a number of reasons why these insect hotels don’t function properly. This could be the product itself, the way it is used or the scale of how the product is used.
Insect hotels are usually not designed for their intended purpose: holes are made too big for insects, edges are too rough for the delicate wings which get damaged, or the used materials are not right. Besides materials, the application is not easy to get right: hotels are not facing south or are not being cleaned properly. Current solutions are mainly focused on household consumers, there is the lack of a product that can easily be scaled up and tackle this problem with a bigger impact. Finally, the solutions now for sale lack a piece of finesse in design and look like they are homemade, making them less suitable for use in public spaces.