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Blue Mountains Community
by Megan Halcroft
|Above: the native bee house made by workshop participants at the Blue Mountains group of the Australian Plants Society|
As a local resident and native bee researcher at the University of Western Sydney, I spoke to the group about the beauty and diversity of the native bees in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales.
There are almost 200 species of native solitary bee in the Sydney and Blue Mountains region. They nest in a variety of substrates including pithy plant stems and old borer holes.
As we beautify our gardens, removing sticks and rotting wood, we remove the natural habitat of our native bees. But we can help, by providing artificial nesting spaces.
With this in mind, the group set about creating a a community native bee house from drilled wooden blocks and bundles of sticks.
Above: Australian Plant Society Workshop participants prepared Exoneura nest bundles for the community native bee house.
Below: Megan Halcroft explained how to make a nest for Exoneura reed bees.
Dead lantana and bamboo are ideal nesting sites for species such as Exoneura reed bees and leaf cutter bees. So now, we can even recycle our weeds!
The workshop was hosted by the Blue Mountains group of the Australian Plants Society and the bee house was constructed within the grounds of the Glenbrook Native Plant Reserve.
The solitary native bee house will remain in the reserve and become habitat for future populations of native bees.
|Left: Megan Halcroft showed the group a completed artificial nest for resin bees.
Below: a completed nest bundle for reed bees.
All the photographs in this article were kindly contributed by Jeannie McInnes
For factsheets on making artificial nests for resin bees and reed bees, visit Megan’s website:
Visit the website of the Australian Plant Society, Blue Mountains Group:
More information and photos of resin bees and reed bees
• For more interesting Aussie Bee Online articles on native bees, visit the contents
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