The photo below is from the Bee Expo 2016 at Imbil. The little wooden blocks are Solitary Bee Observation Blocks and were made by Chris Fuller of Kin Kin Native Bees . The idea is that some Solitary Bees like Leaf Cutters or Resin Bees will create their nest in the grooves and you can open it up occasionally and see the cross section of their nest, watching their progress as they fill the groove and hopefully as the new bees emerge.
This is my version below, using Cypress I’ve routed grooves 160mm long in a 200mm wide block. I then covered the surface with some clear acrylic sheet and placed a hinge on the back.
When it’s in place the blocks are closed against each other…
When i want to have a peek i can open up the blocks without disturbing the nests…
**The only thing i can see wrong is the amount of light that will come in through the clear sheet so the bees might not feel completely comfortable with that? I might need to paint the edges to stop the light entering in.
Below – Left of photo is one of my bee hotels that has a fair few Resin Bee nests. I’d like to see some Leaf Cutter bees try the new block but I haven’t seen many around so it’s more likely to be Resin Bees in the new block, and they don’t seem to be too fussy so they shouldn’t have a problem with it.
Below – Place holder for a series of photos showing progress of Solitary Bees!!! I figured I better not make any more until i know this one works!
Update photos below:
Below: 29 September 2019. Some activity! Most likely Resin Bees.
Return for update photos….