2016 Design Build Studio: UNC Asheville Bee Hotel takes flight


This summer, we will be working with the University of North Carolina-Asheville to build a “bee hotel” near an established pollinator garden on campus. With bee populations declining, there has been a call for the building of bee hotels, man-made contraptions that act as a resting place and nursery for solitary pollinators. While they may not produce honey, these pollinators still play a vital role in the growth of fruits and vegetables, plants and flowers.

students enjoying fresh picked berries and learning about natural elements that create pollinator habitat.


We will be working with UNC-Asheville’s Office of Sustainability, as well as their Biology Department to design and build a structure that will serve as a model for bee-friendly communities around the country.

The summer is underway as everyone has arrived in Asheville and has settled into our first week of exploration.  The site is located at a main entrance to UNC Asheville which provides visibility from several angles from both the street and by casual walkers coming to campus.

UNC Asheville has been working on an initiative to reduce pesticides throughout their campus by planting mainly native species with in their pollinator gardens, attracting dozens of local pollinator species to their oasis.  You can hear the “buzz” from our winged friends as you walk by and many of the gardens contain edibles such as berries and herbs.

This project will be exploring the idea of using found materials as well as natural materials such as logs and grasses to create a rich pallet for visual interest and habitat.  After visiting the site and viewing some of the available materials, we headed off to ABTech’s shop and dove into an intro to tools, exploring the basics of “Bee Hotel” construction.  We are looking forward to a rad summer filled with building, fun and meeting new folks around town.  If you are in the area, come check it out and jump in on the fun!