Native Bee Nesting Sites

With 1,600 species of native Bee described and potentially another 1,000 yet to be described, the concept of the ‘Bee hotel’ only goes to demonstrate our collective ignorance of the Epifamily Anthophila, and in a broader sense, that of the Order Insects.

There are only 386 species of Mammal in Australia and it would seem foolish to create a ‘Mammal hotel’ in the hopes of attracting various Mammals. We recognise that each individual Mammal species has different needs and attempts to assist these species require a considerable knowledge of their needs, careful planning, application, maintenance and monitoring. Recognition of this with regard to Bird species has seen the traditional generic ‘bird boxes’ replaced with specialised boxes designed to meet the needs of individual species, and maintenance / monitoring services being made available.

The concept of the ‘Bee hotel’ can go a long way toward educating the public that Bees, and Insects in general, are an important part of an ecosystem and worth dedicating time and effort to conserve. But as with Mammals and Birds, to have functional benefits artificial nesting sites need to be tailored to the specific needs of the target species. (Note, target species. Not target Genus or Family). Given that we are far from even having a description of all Australian Bee species, knowledge of the needs and preferences of each species is practically non-existent. So while we wait for the massively underfunded and underappreciated taxonomists and specialists to do their research, the best we can do for most species is a little trial and error.

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Scott Creek CP (16th Apr, 2022)

As of March 2022 the burnt sections of this park, east of Dorset Vale Road, have now reopened to the public. After creating an iNaturalist Project to collect observations post bushfire, I’ve been eager to revisit.

We’d thought the warm day would be good for a short walk along Neville Rd, Currawong Ridge Track, Bandicoot Track and Matthews Rd. But at 30°C, humid, no wind and all the tree canopy removed by the fire, it was unexpectedly hot.

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