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.
As of October 2020 just over 400 species had been recorded on this suburban property. As of the end of April 2021 this has risen to 500 species. As of March 2022, this has now risen to 604 species from 3,409 observations!
Exactly how many species can be found in a typical suburban backyard?
Consider your yard, and have a guess how many species you might be able to find in it. Don’t count any cultivated or captive species. Obviously yards will range from courtyard to acreage, so your estimates will differ. Unless you are someone who regularly looks for life in their yard, your estimate could be out by a factor of 5 to 10. For a more detailed consideration, check out the post How Many Species?. Below you can find some tips of how to locate these often elusive species on your property.