It'll take two days in April to plant a pollinator garden, get a bee hotel built, and install honeybee hives on nearly half an acre at the Prince William County Landfill Complex. Volunteers are needed to help with the work on April 14 and 21 from 8 a.m. to noon on both days.
The bee hotel will be constructed of old pallets and recycled bricks that were salvaged before they hit the landfill. The structure will be packed with PVC tubing, bamboo, reeds and lumber with holes drilled in it to provide a habitat for native bee species. Hay at the bottom of the structure will provide a habitat for other insects, as well as salamanders and frogs, said Louise Edsall, a Prince William County resident who now works part-time for the Audubon Society and is the founder of Bees in Schools.
Edsall, a beekeeper, will also be installing honeybee hives at the pollinator garden. The garden will have native plants and serve as a food source for the native bee species and the honeybees. It will also be an educational resource.
Edsall said the stingless, native bees will be naturally attracted to the structure. "They'll find it."
Once the garden is established, with raised plantings in old canoes and tires, it will attract other pollinators, such as hummingbirds, butterflies and moths. Other birds will arrive to feed on the insects the garden will attract.
Deborah Campbell, a communications specialist for the county's solid waste division, said the project will be funded through a $20,000 grant from Lowe's Home Improvement, which was secured by Keep Prince William Beautiful, a non-profit environmental organization.
Campbell said the garden, hives and native bee habitat fit in with the landfill's public education mission. "We care about the environment, and we want to add this as another component as a grander vision of the landfill as an eco-park and a resource for environmental matters."
Other community partners helping with the project include George Mason University and the Prince William Conservation Alliance.
For more information on how to volunteer, call 703-792-5328.