An intriguing case of mortar bee attack is evident at the former Public Works Office, Bendigo. The building is now part of the Queen Elizabeth Oval Cottage in the downtown Bendigo.  Known commonly as mortar bees because of their propensity to nest in the soft mortar of older brick structures, these bees normally make their nests in banks of hard consolidated soils and soft coastal rocks. Each female bee excavates its own burrow to create a protected place to rear their young.  They typically favour walls that receive a lot of sunlight to keep their young warm. Over time, this activity by the bees can lead to structural damage.

Mortar bees
















Constructed in 1858, the former Public Works Office is one of Bendigo’s oldest surviving buildings.  Urgent conservation works, including works to address structural and damp issues, will soon be undertaken with funding provided by the Living Heritage Grants Program.

Public Works Office, Bendigo:









20 March 2018

Related Posts

02 October 2020

Staff news: celebrating 20 years with Anthony Hemingway

This year marks two decades of distinguished service for an integral member of RBA: Senior Associate and Architectural Historian, Anthony Hemingway. Anthony started at RBA…

02 September 2020

Roger Beeston chairs the Heritage Jury for the 2020 AIA Victorian awards

                  RBA Director and Principal Architect, Roger Beeston, is honoured to have chaired the Heritage Jury of…

18 May 2020

Conserving Eltham Courthouse—RBA Heritage Consultants in the field

Ensconced behind a veil of trees, just off the heavily trafficked Main Road, is Eltham’s oldest surviving public building—its former court house. Recently, RBA had…

24 March 2020

RBA commence the Banyule Heritage Study

Over the past several years, RBA has undertaken heritage studies across a wide range of contexts, from the inner-city commercial fringe of Melbourne and the…