The humming of bees will soon join the solemn choirs of service at a cathedral Austria as an entrepreneur has set up an insect hotel for the diocese yard.
The so-called bee hotel – a wooden construction which offers an ideal opportunity for wild bees and other insects to nest – was installed in the back garden of Sankt Poelten Cathedral, Lower Austria.
All other species of bees apart from the honey bee – such as leafcutter bees, carpenter bees and mason bees – are commonly referred to as wild bees.
These bees do not produce beeswax or honey but collect pollen to feed their young.
Hans Roth – chief executive of waste disposal company Saubermacher – is the mastermind behind a cross-country installation of nesting spots.
Some years ago, the entrepreneur decided to set up such devices every time another industrial undertaking diminishes natural habitats.
Roth explained that the insect hotels were installed as part of his initiative in support of the Naturschutzbund, the Austrian Union for the Protection of the Environment.
The businessman told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper: “This way, the Naturschutzbund can protect and sustain endangered biotopes.”
Back in June 2017, Roth organised the installation of bee hotels at 70 primary schools across the province of Styria to mark his 70th birthday.
Construction projects, mites and excessive usage of insecticides are widely considered as the biggest threats to the existence of bees and other insects.
Sankt Poelten Diocese Bishop Alois Schwarz welcomed Roth’s efforts.
Schwarz said: “It’s about our daily nutrition. We cannot feed on tarmac.”
With more than 500,000 members, Sankt Poelten Diocese is one of Austria’s biggest Roman Catholic institutions.
Saubermacher – which is headquartered in Feldkirchen near Graz, Styria – was founded by Hans Roth and his wife Margret in 1979.
Over the years, Saubermacher has developed into one of Austria’s leading waste disposal businesses.
Today, Saubermacher has more than 3,400 employees in seven European countries.
The firm processes around 3.5 million tonnes of waste in 1,600 towns and cities each year.
On its website, Saubermacher claims: “Our vision is Zero Waste. We are highly committed to research & development, digital innovations and partnerships.
“We support residents, local authorities and companies with environmental protection, sustainable enterprise and needs-based solutions.”