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SHS Garden Journal Blog

Children's Activity - November

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Make a Solitary Bee Hive

Did you know that there are over 1500 species of native bee in Australia, and almost all of them are solitary bees? This means that all the females are fertile, and each female will make a home in a nest constructed by herself. There are no worker bees for these species.

These bees often like to build their homes in hollowed or dead branches in trees, and tidy gardens often unwittingly take these potential homes away. All bees are important pollinators in any ecosystem and we need to promote their survival.

We can provide a home for these busy workers quite easily:
  1. Using soft wooded branches from plants such as tibouchina, hydrangea, lantana or grapevine, we can cut them into 20 cm lengths.
  2. Bundle about 12 of the lengths of branches together.
  3. Secure with soft wire at either end. Some people use duct tape to secure the bunch of branches.
  4. Tie the hive to a sheltered branch of a tree, and wait for the bees to come!  They will hollow out the soft pithy centre of the wood. 

You may entice the Reed bee, Carpenter bee or Leafcutter bee.

Author: Natalie Er, Faciliator - Seed Harvest Spoon.
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