Until now my bee hotels failed to attracted many Symmorphus and Ancistrocerus wasps. This week however a fellow observer told me that on his bee hotel these genera seem to have a preference for a particular part of the hotel. It consists of three blocks joined together with the middle section being shorter which constructs a cover. The sides of the longer blocks have been drilled in the side.
On my bee hotels I do not have similar covers so this demands a testcase.
Another thing that occurred to me last year was the good shape of the oldest block in my bee hotel aggregate. It consists of a vertically mounted small trunk with holes drilled in the sides. It is still crack free in contrast with the newest nest blocks that are cracked up and are already candidate for replacement.
So this week I started immediately to build a hotel with a trunk section that I had lying around. The bottom is drilled for the purpose of attracting the wasps, the sides have been drilled as an experiment to see whether they crack less.
The nest block is mounted at a height of 180-200 cm, conform the preference of Symmorphus and Ancistrocerus nest heights of 100-200 c. The drill holes have diameters of 3, 4, 5 and 6 mm.
I’m super excited to see if this will attract more of the wasps 🤞😅
When I manage to find some appropriate wood blocks I will replicate the situation of the mentioned bee hotel.
I’ve found a smaller stem that is wide enough to fit underneath the wasp hotel so I immediately started to finish the project. First by drilling the nest corridors, again using the same diameter.
Secondly I was thinking that if the wasps have a potential preference for nest blocks on the North or East and they prefer the darker covered locations at the other observer, maybe it would be good to darken the nest block a bit more by adding additional shades using small planks. Those can be turned away easily for easier photographing , but should it not prove to be beneficial for the wasps I’ll remove them. Let’s see what happens.