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University of Maryland gives new life to bee wall

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Posted at 12:43 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 08:51:37-05

The University of Maryland is refurbishing their bee wall that went up in September of 2015.

The wall was made solely of natural resources, called cobb, according to PhD student Lisa Kuder. It's a combination of clay, sand and fibrous materials such as straw, to mimic a river bed so bees can bore in and create a nest.

As students built the wall, they embedded river rocks in the top layer to deflect water away from the wall to keep the cobb from eroding.

Students also used chopsticks to poke holes of different sizes in different parts of the wall to encourage different species to come create a home.

The bees have taken to the wall and that's why it now needs repairing, according to Director of Operations at Furbish Brad Garner.

RELATED: The push to protect Maryland's 14,000 bee colonies

He explained the bees created holes in the wall that need fixing and the students are taking the opportunity to expand the project.

"We are creating pollen sources and nectar sources for the bees by putting a green roof on top of the wall that is going to have several different flowers that bloom at several different times of the year," Garner said.

The students will be installing the roof and making the repairs, "it's amazing, it's essential to our future for understanding and harmonizing with the environment that we live in," Garner said.

Bees have had a tough time with massive die offs across the country, and are critical to continuing life as we know it.

Furbish made the green roof for the university and specializes in biowalls, some of which are displayed at prominent establishments like Under Armour.