We recently visited the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC. 

While strolling through the gardens, we came across this fascinating structure: a bee hotel! 

The accompanying sign explains …

Text from the sign:

Bee Hotel

Welcome to the Air Bee & Bee, the Arboretum’s bee hotel!

Did you know? Out of the 21,000 species of bees in the world, only 10% are honeybees and other social bees.  The rest are solitary bees, which do not produce honey or live in nests.  Instead, these bees live in the ground or cavities in trees and stems.  Since they do not make honey, solidary bees do not have pollen baskets on their body.  This means they drop more pollen than honeybees, making them extraordinary pollinators and a boon to any garden environment.

Only some of these solitary bees and wasps may have stingers.  On top of being nonaggressive, their poison is very weak and does not cause an allergic reaction to humans.


Guest bees can choose between hollow sticks and high-rise bricks.

Here is one arriving now:

Bee Hotel

Checking in please, room for one –-
long and narrow, toward the sun!

Certainly, please come right in.
Any baggage? Any kin?

No, I travel light. I’ve just -- 
brought a bit of pollen dust.

Photos and Poem © Tracey Kiff-Judson, 2024


Have a BEE-utiful Poetry Friday, and please buzz over to visit Laura Purdie Salas and help her celebrate the arrival of Oskar’s Voyage!





  • Tracey, your photograph grabbed me. 
    And your poem is a flight of delight. 
    Appreciations & happy solitary bee-spotting.
  • LOVE THIS, Tracey!I've seen one of these before - without the fabulous sign info so I had NO IDEA how important that WASP was that I may have cursed under my breath when I waved it away so it would not book its stay near my back door - oops!
    • Come to think of it, I have never actually been stung by one of those enormous, dangly-legged beasts!  I have always been told that they have terrible stingers, but maybe not all do?
  • Love your poem in the voice of the bee. And wonderful photo! I keep learning more about bees and how important they are.
  • Wonderful poem! Bees are creatures of my heart and I am SO pleased that you encountered this amazing creation and all that wonderful info! I just love the idea of a bee checking-in to the hotel - really clever! 
  • Tracey, this is so fascinating and beautiful in its own way. I love seeing new things. The placard at the Bee Hotel "Air Bee and Bee" is so informative and helpful. It makes me want to have a bee hotel of my own. Thanks for sharing, and I love your playful poem in response.
  • Absolutely charming poem. Love the Bee Hotel -- so cool!! Didn't know about the solitary bees. The "Air Bee and Bee" name is so clever too. Thanks for the smiles this week.
  • That bee hotel is fabulous! And I love your clever conversation poem. "Any baggage? Any kin?" Hahaha
  • Simply marvelous poem, love it—"I travel light" such an inviting voice!!! Great pics too. I remember photographing a similar bee hotel at a nature preserve, I'll have to hunt it down. I think I read you CAN build one of these too–good luck, and thanks for all from the  🐝 's and me!
  • This is a great post! I love your ending poem. I was fascinated by what you shared about the bees, especially how important the non-pollen gathering pollinators are. I saw one of these bee hotels while visiting my sister in NY in January. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't give a lot of thought to it at the time. Thanks for enlightening me! 
  • Fabulous! I love the photo of the bee arriving-- and of course your marvelous poem! Happy Poetry Friday!
    • Thank you, Sarah, I was lucky to get that little bee's picture.  I went back later and no one was coming or going!

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