The thought of a colony of bumblebees thriving anywhere in the vicinity of where I live (or step) makes me anxious. I know I’m not alone on this.

For serious greenthumbs, however, these tiny winged critters are a welcome addition to any garden thanks to their penchant for super important pollination. Essentially, a garden without bumblebees is a garden at risk, so attracting them and encouraging them to stick around is vital.

Brooklyn-based designer Jason Neufeld’s Bombus Shelters are designed to do just that. These good lookin’ ceramic beehives should be installed directly in the ground (bumblebees tend to settle underground) instead of hung. With a Bombus Shelter, your beneficial bee boarders have established safe, dry lodgings (not quite the Farmont Hotel, but I think they’ll do just fine) so you don’t have to worry about accidentally stepping on any homemade hives — bumblebees usually only attack when their home is threatened — spread throughout your garden.

If you aren’t familiar with the somewhat fragile state of bees right now — the plight of the bumblebee, if you will — check out these two post from my co-bloggers Jenn Savedge and Melissa Hincha-Ownby about Colony Collapse Disorder. It’s a pretty big, buzz-worthy deal at the moment … so big that I just happen to be listening (total coincidence) to a lengthy news story on the topic on NPR as I type.

Via [Re-Nest]

Photos: Jason Neufeld

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Plant pollinator palaces
There's a buzz around designer Jason Neufeld's Bombus Shelters — stylish, ceramic beehives that attract garden-beneficial bumblebees.