Greens Club Brings New Life To Bug Mansion – Brevard NC

 

November 3, 2016

BC Greens members and staff.

Insects making their home at Brevard College recently got an upgrade. The Brevard College Greens club, along with Brevard College faculty Maureen Drinkard and Jim Reynolds recently restored the College's Bug Mansion located at the Townsend Wetland Garden next to The Porter Center for Performing Arts, in order to diversify the insect habitat.

"Bug mansions (or bug hotels) are used to encourage insect diversity in an area. Well-kept college grounds are too tidy for the likes of many necessary and beneficial insects. Bug Mansions offer a variety of habitat types to attract insects," said Drinkard.

Several maintenance crew members helped transport the Bug Mansion from Moore's Science building, where it was assembled, to the Porter Center in order to provide a habitat for the necessary bugs that live by the creek. The Bug Mansion is appropriately painted with bees on its white sidewalls, as a reminder to all who see it that it is a home for insects, including bees.


Written on one wall reads, "Pollinator and Biodiversity Observation Station," a place to be used by the Division of Math and Science as a key experiential education tool. The house-like enclosure allows for insects of all kinds to live safely and in harmony. It is especially made for solitary insects, meaning they don't have a hive or a group of their kind to nest with.

The Bug Mansion has existed at Brevard College for a few years, but is restored each fall in order to cause the least amount of disruption to the bugs. Drinkard's entomology class, which was the first time this class was offered in the college's recent history, aided her in the planning and building of the Bug Mansion.

"We use bug-friendly material," said BC Greens President and student Kate Brandhuber, "like cattail, brick, bamboo, PVC pipe, husks, bark and dry wall. We try to attract carpenter bees, damsels and mayflies. They are an important part of the diversity near the wetlands."

Other bugs that are attracted by the Bug Mansion include Mason bees, insects in the family Hymenoptera, lady bugs, beetles and lacewings.

BC Greens, the college's environmental club, hosts a Wetlands Cleanup each year in order to maintain the grounds surrounding the Bug Mansion, which will encourage more bugs to use it as their habitat.

"I believe the health of the wetlands should be a priority here at Brevard College. In the meantime, I encourage students and visitors to go and enjoy the garden by the Porter Center. During the visit, please replenish any materials that have fallen out of the bug mansion, and pick up litter out of the wetlands," said Brandhuber.


The Bug Mansion will be moved from the Porter Center back to Moore's Science academic building over the winter so that more people can view it. It will be restored continually, as it has struck the students and faculty as vital for habitat reconstruction, biodiversity and an opportunity for experiential education.

"In the face of habitat destruction and climate change, biodiversity is at risk across all ecosystems," Drinkard said. "Providing habitat for the incredibly valuable, yet small members of the animal world not only combats these factors but provides an exceptional educational opportunity as well."

Brevard College is committed to an experiential liberal arts education that encourages personal growth and inspires artistic, intellectual, and social action. Learn more at http://www.brevard.edu.

Members of the Brevard College community recently restored a Bug Mansion near its wetland garden next to the Porter Center to support insect habitat. Members of the community are encouraged to visit and replenish materials that have fallen out of the bug mansion. (Photos courtesy of Brevard College.)

 
 

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