Over the past ten years subTropical Gardening magazine has provided many articles covering honeybees and native stingless bees. As expected, the solitary bees that live alone are now gaining national attention with bee hotels springing up in community gardens, parks and private gardens.
Native bees are natural pollinators of many Australian native plants, along with birds, bats, beetles, flies and marsupials. Many native solitary bees display unique ways in which they collect, carry and store pollen. Some actually cover their whole body with the pollen.
Along with social bees, solitary bees are also under threat due to deforestation, development and chemicals that come from industry, agriculture, horticulture and home owners...and that includes gardeners.
In addition to providing the three essential requirements to attract bees into the garden (pollen, nectar and water), creating a suitable nesting place is critical for solitary bees. This is where home gardeners can be innovative in creating a Bee Hotel.