MANASSAS, VA—Springtime brings out the bees, and Prince William County is asking residents to double-down on that by spending a Saturday or two this month helping to build a giant Bee Hotel. Actually, it’s a half-acre honeybee complex that’ll grace the County Landfill grounds, 14811 Dumfries Road.
It’s part of an effort keeping with the facility’s public education mission, according to county spokesman Deborah Campbell: "We care about the environment, and we want to add this as another component as a grander vision of the landfill as an eco-park and a resource for environmental matters."
Volunteers are needed for April 14 and 21 from 8 a.m.-noon. In a statement, the county said "the bee hotel will be constructed of old pallets and recycled bricks that were salvaged before they hit the landfill. The structure will be packed with PVC tubing, bamboo, reeds and lumber with holes drilled in it to provide a habitat for native bee species.
"Hay at the bottom of the structure will provide a habitat for other insects, as well as salamanders and frogs, said Louise Edsall, a Prince William County resident who now works part-time for the Audubon Society and is the founder of Bees in Schools."
She’s a beekeeper, and will also be installing honeybee hives at the pollinator garden. The garden will have native plants and serve as a food source for the native bee species and the honeybees. She said the stingless, native bees will be naturally attracted to the structure.
Once the garden is established, with raised plantings in old canoes and tires, said the statement, it will attract other pollinators, such as hummingbirds, butterflies and moths. Other birds will arrive to feed on the insects the garden will attract.
The project is being funded in part through a $20,000 grant from Lowe’s Home Improvement through Keep Prince William Beautiful, a non-profit environmental organization. Also involved: George Mason University and the Prince William Conservation Alliance. For information on how to volunteer, call 703-792-5328.