75% of the world’s food crops are at least partially reliant on animal pollination. Every part of human society is vulnerable to pollinator loss.  But these insects are in decline worldwide.
Research is vital to understand which species suffer most, what is causing the reduction in their numbers, and how this will impact nature and society.

The University of Reading has a Bee Team led by Professor Simon Potts. The University also holds a famous collections, described by The British Beekeepers Association as “the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world”: the Cowan Bee Collection, dating back to the sixteenth century, along with other fascinating Bee collections. The Institute of Education (IoE) is setting up a well-beeeing meadow to attract and support these pollinators in an urban setting on the London Road Campus. This will allow the IoE to showcase what is possible and to share ideas across their Partnership and build into teaching and learning activities.

The theme of our competition is ‘Save Britain’s pollinators’. This is your opportunity to produce a creative design that considers the needs of a bee for their bee hotel. Not all bees are honey producers and here is a guide to Types of Bees to get you started.

The competition will run from 25 October 2021 to 3 December 2021. Winners’ ideas will be incorporated into the final Bee Hotel Design and be invited to the Bee Meadow Launch on the 20 May 2022 (World Bee Day).


The competition is for those children aged 3-13, divided into three categories:

  • Early Years (3-5) Joint group entrants
  • Key Stage 1
  • Key Stage 2
  • Key Stage 3

Entries are restricted to one per person or group. Short lists will be created for each category which the judging panel will then select a winner for each category. Here are the Terms and Conditions. The judging panel will be made up of Professor Carol Fuller from the Institute of Education at the University of Reading and Robin Dean, the Bee Expert and Bee Hotel Designer, Head Teacher (Primary and Early Years).

Winners will have the chance to have some aspect of your design ideas incorporated into the final Bee Hotel Design (to be built by our Bee Expert) that will be revealed at the University of Reading’s World Bee Day launch in 2022.

Additionally, as one of the winners, you will be invited to University of Reading World Bee Day Event – 20 May 2022.

A special Bee Expert will visit schools who have winning designs.


Once you’ve completed your design you can enter the competition by using the form below:

Bee hotel competition – Parental consent form

and submit your entry to j.a.reedjohnson@reading.ac.uk
(you will receive a confirmation of receipt).


We recommend all entrant guardians read the following carefully before entering.

Design a bee hotel prize competition Terms and Conditions