The Insect Hotel In Vancouver, By Contexture Design

Canadians pride ourselves internationally on our wildlife; it is with this wildlife that we share our landscapes, our National Parks, and our urban environments.

Contexture Design is a Vancouver-based design firm that prioritizes sustainable design with environmental and cultural significance. Recently, they sought to serve our non-human Canadian citizens and neighbours. Through a partnership with the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA), Contexture Design created a home for some of our most significant urban neighbours: pollinators.

Pollinators include bees, butterflies, bats, beetles, wasps, flies, moths and birds, with bees being the most significant contributors to pollenation.



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British Columbia, and the Yukon, is home to over 450 species of native bees, (over half of the total 800 native bee species in all of Canada), as well as the introduced European honeybee. This is a significant portion of the world’s total bee-species diversity, which is estimated at around 25,000 distinctive bee species! Beyond bees, Canada is home to over 1000 pollenating species.

These Canuck pollinators are industrious; their work contributes to the homes of many Canadians: over 1 billion dollars-worth of Canadian farm produce.



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Significant declines in pollinator species have been noted globally since 2006. Pollinators are experiencing pressure mainly due to habitat loss and disappearances of food sources (plants with familiar pollen and nectar to the species).

The decline of pollinators is a worldwide issue, and is felt in Canada. Urbanization is a boon to bee populations; as they lose habitat, the abilities of hives to coordinate and thrive, to find food, are hindered.



The Insect Hotel, located in Oak Meadow's Park. Image courtesy of Contexture Design. 



The Insect Hotel is part of a greenspace network in Vancouver, called the Nectar Trail, managed by the EYA. The Nectar Trail is a project to provide connected habitats for pollinators within the city.

The Insect Hotel is located in Vancouver’s Oak Meadow’s Park. The hotel itself is a converted phone booth (a re-purposed structure that Contexture Design is not unfamiliar with) that provides resources for pollinators such as birds, butterflies, and bees.

The Insect Hotel sets an example for what we can do in our own backyards to support healthy pollinator communities in our cities. Here are resources from the David Suzuki Foundation as well as the Canadian Honey Council that can plant the seeds of possibility.



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In B.C., native bee species are significant for the pollination and perpetuation of native plants such as blueberries. To support native bee populations, consider bolstering the number of native plants in your garden. 

Indeed, without pollinators, many facets of our lives would be different: pollinators are crucial for fruit, coffee, and nut production.

Cities are home to many species as well as humans. It is inspiring to see a design company contribute to the health of our oft-overlooked urban neighbours.

To learn more about this project, visit the Environmental Youth Alliance, and to see more amazing design work, visit Contexture Design.


All images courtesy of their individual sources.

Researched and Written by Emily E.A. Stringer, Undergraduate of Sociology, and Geography: Environment & Sustainability, at the University of British Columbia.

Posted In: British Columbia

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