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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATE
20 March 2018
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