Battery Park City's 'Air Bee n Bees' provide native bees with homes in NYC

If you’re walking through Battery Park City, you may be confused to see what appear to be wood logs stuck into the ground, stuffed with other smaller sticks and twigs.

But they're part of some art project, they are ‘Air Bee n Bees,’ bee hotels designed to give bees a habitat and help the ecosystem. 

"We’ve installed 10 of these native bee hotels all throughout Battery Park City they’re sort of tucked away in little spots," said David Wallace, the Director of Horticulture at Battery Park City Authority.

The hotels are part of the first neighborhood-wide bee hotel initiative in the city. 

An 'Air Bee n' Bee'

One of the ‘Air Bee n Bees’ designed to help New York City's native bees. 

They’re made of twigs and branches from pruning around the neighborhood's gardens.

"Native bees are solitary they live as individuals, and they lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices between plants and between rocks," shared Wallace.

The ‘Air-Bee n Bees’ are more engineered alternatives giving the natives a better home. 

"In the urban environment. There are not as many spaces for them to make nests and lay eggs. That’s why we build something like these to make perfect habitats for them even in an urban park like we have here," he said.

An 'Air Bee n' Bee'

One of the ‘Air Bee n Bees’ designed to help New York City's native bees. 

While Honeybees do a lot of the heavy lifting pollinating our plants and creating food, an essential function in agriculture, they’re originally imports from Europe, not natives to North America,  unlike the native bees. 

"They are specialist pollinators so certain plants can only be pollinated by certain bees," Wallace explained.

 The hotels mimic the habitat that native New Yorker bees look for. 

About 10 of the new designs are being installed along Manhattan’s waterfront.