Wild for Bees® 2014

Burt's Bees, Fairmont Hotels, and Pollinator Partnership Bee Hotels

​Look around you: nearly every tree, plant, fruit and vegetable in your sight is the product of animal pollination. Bees are the most effective animal pollinators of all; they travel from plant to plant, flower to flower, to help buds bloom and keep the ecosystem in sync. Our wild, native pollinator bees are the most effective of the bees. They make up over 90% of the bee population and work independently to spread pollen. As they are facing rapid decline, these solitary native pollinator bees need both food sources and resting places. Pollinator gardens provide the former, while bee hotels (sustainable resting spaces for these solitary native pollinator bees) provide the latter. Unlike honeybees, these native bees nest individually, without a queen or hive. Equally important, native bees are not prone to sting.

SUSTAINABLE.TO designed and built five unique bee hotels across sites around the GTA as part of the Wild for Bees initiative - a partnership with Burt’s Bees, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and the Pollinator Partnership Canada. These bee hotels are designed with education and simplicity in mind. Based on the most current understanding of bee behaviour, we worked with the bee experts at Pollinator Parntership to create bee habitats that are functional to a diverse species. We developed an aesthetic that is not only a sculptural addition to its surrounding context, but also serves as a source of inspiration for visitors and homeowners to construct their own.

The project has been featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Zoomer Magazine. The bee hotels have also displayed as part of various events across Toronto, including: Canada Blooms; 100in1Day at Withrow Parl farmers’ Market; Toronto Life ‘City of Parks’ launch; Leslieville Farmers’ Market, Toronto Botanical Garden’s ‘Through the Garden Gate’ garden tour, and Fairmount Park Farmers’ Market.

In recognition of our outstanding efforts, with our partners, SUSTAINABLE.TO has been awarded by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) as the 2014 Advocate for Canada.

NAPPC is a growing, collaborative body of more than 120 diverse partners in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Respected scientists, researchers, conservationists, government officials and dedicated volunteers are succeeding with major programs to protect pollinators, to raise pollinator-related issues, and to benefit the health of all species – particularly those most threatened.

Royal York Hotel Rooftop, Toronto Botanical Garden, & Black Creek Community Farm, Toronto; TRCA Kortright Centre for Conservation, Vaughan, and Eastview Pollinator Park, Guelph
Project Lead:
Joel Gilbert Anderson
Burt's Bees, Fairmont Hotels, and Pollinator Partnership
Majority sourced from natural tree-fall waste, home renovations (plywood, lumber, shingles) and retail waste (paint, shipping palettes)