Research Before Buying Bee Hotels

Bee Hotels are great for providing extra habitat for certain species of native bees, but, there can be misunderstanding or misinformation in advertising about bee hotels so it’s important to do some research before buying or making one.

Most native bees are ground nesting and will not use bee hotels. It’s best to first research and work out which species of native bees are in your area, then build suitable habitat to support them. Cheap bee hotels available from major shops and hardware stores are not designed for Australian native bees.
  1. You will most likely attract different Resin Bee species, Masked Bees, Leaf Cutters and some Wasp species.
  2. Native Bees do sting! There’s only 11 described species of stingless bees in Australia in a total of around 1700 species.
  3. You will not get native stingless bees in a bamboo bee hotel. Stingless bees are social and live in colonies of thousands with a Queen.
  4. You will not get Blue Banded Bees or Teddy Bear Bees in your bamboo and wooden bee/insect hotel. Blue Banded Bees dig burrows in the ground for their nests. You can however build hotels for them using a compacted sand/dirt/clay material.

Quotes from the AussieBee website: https://www.aussiebee.com.au/bee-hotel-building-tips.html

Lengths of bamboo make great nests for Resin Bees and Leafcutters. Cut the bamboo so that the piece has one open, cut off end and one end sealed by a node (see the photo, below). The cavities need to be about 15 cm long. If the distances between the nodes in your bamboo are less than 15 cm long, you can drill through a node to make a longer cavity. The cavities inside the bamboo should also be between 3 and 13 mm wide. Native bees are unlikely to use bamboo holes that are wider than 10 mm but wasps and other kinds of insects may use them.

A variety of native bee species of different sizes will nest in holes drilled in timber blocks. We find that a mixture of holes between 3 mm and 10 mm wide works best. The depth of the drilled holes is also very important. If a drilled hole is too short, the young bees that emerge from the nest may be mainly of one sex. Over time this will cause a decline in bee numbers. We recommend that the drilled holes should be 100 to 150 mm deep.

Below: How to build your own Bee Hotel…

Hivecraft - Australian Native Bee Supplies

Native bee boxes available at www.hivecraft.com.au

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