St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Humanity relies greatly on pollinators, not only for food but flowers as well. Honeybees, bumblebees and other insects, as well as birds and small mammals pollinate more than 90 percent of the world's flowering plants and one-third of all human food crops.
To help educate the public about native bees and the benefits they provide society, the Saint Louis Zoo recently installed bee boxes for nesting pollinators in five locations around the zoo.
Visitors to the Saint Louis Zoo can find these bee boxes in Missouri Meadow outside the Monsanto Insectarium, in the Emerson Children's Zoo, near the administration building and at other locations.
The bee boxes are small, wooden birdhouse-like structures filled with rows of tiny hollow tubes, designed to attract leaf-cutter, mason and masked bees.
The Saint Louis Zoo says the bee boxes provide nesting areas that are disappearing in modern cities. Bees are affected by changes in landscape and climate, such as the removal of bare ground and dead trees.
The Saint Louis Zoo is offering directions for building bee boxes on its website, and additional information on planting pollinator gardens for bees native to Missouri and Illinois.