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Bee Hotels. Success? Also specific query for blue banded bees


#1

So this is obviously not related to the flow hive or european honey bees…

Has anyone (specifically in AU, but in general is also ok) had any success with “bee hotels” for blue banded bees? If yes, what was the design you used? My query here is because these bees typically burrow.

More generally, has anyone (again, specifically in AU, but in general is also okay) had success with “bee hotels” for native bees? If so, what bees have you noticed frequenting your hotel and what was the design for the hotel?

Finally, for anyone that has used a bee hotel, where did you find it best to position it? I’m asking this question because different pollinators are actually more productive at different heights, so I’m curious if anyone has seen a difference in occupancy and effectiveness based on positioning, namely height/altitude.


#2

I haven’t seen a blue banded as yet. Mines set approximately 1.5m high, purely dictated by the fork of the tree.
In the bottom right log two of the holes are occupied and I’ve seen a face in the hole above but I don’t know what species it is yet.
This has been up for a month.


#3

We made a bee hotel for our community garden more than a year ago but I haven’t seen residents. They say it can take time to be ‘found’ and it’s been a while since I took a good look at it to see if is is being used. For blue banded bees I made a thick paste of clay with some sand and stuffed it into a ‘tube’ I made by cutting the ends of a 2 litre milk container but you can use a pvc pipe. I am daily looking out for the emergence of blue banded bees as I love to see them in the garden. They do a good job boosting the pollination of my tomatoes and eggplants. Last year they showed up in October but I was hoping they’d be early this year.


#4

Hiya Snowy, as you mention bbb’s are ground burrowers and will not use a suspended b hotel.
There’s a good Facebook site for WA native bees which I go to when trying to ID a bee. Personally I don’t bother, my whole yard is a bee hotel. Bird hotel. Reptile hotel. I could go on. As land gets cleared for housing developments I’m slowly filling my little bit of paradise with ground covers, shrubs and trees increasing biodiversity.
No bbb’s seen yet this year but I havnt planted tomato’s yet either…


#5

Good to hear it skegs!

Switch reptile to rodent and you have a good idea of my whole yard too :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee::eagle::owl::bat::beetle::spider::rabbit2::rooster::dove::chipmunk:

Can’t say much about blue bandeds except they’re so beautiful & I’m just listening in here Up Over.


#6

@skeggley have you got a link to the FB group? I don’t use FB but I can get my wife to take a look for me.

As for BBB’s, I used to easily identify a few burrows in my front garden (some near lavender, some near nothing in particular) but haven’t been able to spot them (or hear them) the last year or so, but I’ve spotted a number of other native bees. I never had any BBB burrows nears the tomatoes, or at least none I could identify. However, that’s my hope - to setup a BBB hotel near the tomatoes, as there buzz pollination is very good for them :slight_smile:

@cathiemac - from what I’ve read I’d agree. Most things I’ve read indicate it can take 2-3 years for consistent residency.