If you’re like me, it gives you the warm and fuzzies to work for a company that does good things. At PROSOCO, I’m lucky and proud to work for a business that routinely contributes to multiple charities every year. We recently found a way to combine our charitable giving with a cause near to many of our hearts — protecting the environment.
As part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2014 Green Apple Day of Service program, staff members at PROSOCO put their collective brains and elbow grease together to host a Bee Hotel Habitat Improvement event in partnership with Clark | Huesemann Architects and the University of Kansas Biological Survey.
The plight of bees has been well-documented recently, for good reason. Bees play a critical role in the production of all kinds of food that humans eat every day, but their livelihood is threatened in large part due to loss of habitat.
That’s where we could help, by constructing a “bee hotel.” And when I say “we” I mean our extraordinary carpenter Shawn Desrosier (whose professional title here is director of field training), our strategic account manager Joelle Lattimer, PE, and Kay Johnson, our sustainability and environment manager. Shawn built the framework of a habitat for solitary bees that school-aged kids would later fill in with bee-friendly rolls of paper at our Sept. 13 event held here at our headquarters in Lawrence, Kan.
The hotel would be filled in with 1,400 paper rooms, 1,600 bamboo rooms, 45 wood rooms and wood palettes as a place for solitary bees to reside and lay their eggs. Different species like to occupy different diameters of tunnels, and will construct a series of “cells” in each one. In every cell where they work, they leave a block of pollen that they’ve collected from nearby flowers, lay an egg and wall it up with natural materials. The mason bee uses mud, the resin bee uses tree sap or resin from trees and the leaf cutter bee uses leaves. All three species are found in Douglas County, Kan., home to PROSOCO.
Nearly 20 kids showed up for the event, and while the adults heard a presentation about the bees and their new habitat, the youngsters colored in bee activity sheets. Everyone later pitched in to create 1,400 paper rolls for the hotel.
Stay tuned for more details on this project: The hotel will soon be completed with a roof attached and installed near the University of Kansas.