Finally, prototypes of Deluxe Log, and Bee Plank! Deluxe Log short description below (full details in Deluxe_Log_Full PDF). Bee plank is a similar idea but is designed to fit into a window or an outdoor booth, with a covering to provide darkness. See also related pages at this site, Pollination Station, Bee Houses and ‘Pink Condo’, etc..

Sarah Peebles, concept

John Kuisma, log and plank fabrication

Rob Cruickshank, electronics

Above: Deluxe Log and Bee House

Resonating Bodies – Pollination Station #2: Deluxe Log

an amplified habitat sculpture for solitary bees and wasps

Many species of solitary, wild bees (and wasps) nest in vacated beetle bores and other pre-formed cavities, and are critical pollinators. ‘Deluxe Log’ is a free-standing modified log which provides habitat and incorporates a weather-resistant observation panel, vibrational sensors (acting as microphones), custom-built circuitry, headphones and magnifying lens which, combined, provide a magnified, immersive environment in which to observe these pollinators in all stages of their life cycles. Since various wild bees live for a few weeks, with life cycles which overlap throughout the summer, Log will attract different types of bees and wasps from Spring through Fall.

Above: Deluxe Log, side view

Deluxe Log draws from three design models: standardized nest blocks developed by the alfalfa pollination industry in Saskatchewan (Canada) for the managed leafcutter bee Megachile rotundata; mason bee ‘houses’ (genus Osmia) popular for orchard pollination; and, modified nest blocks which accommodate both internal viewing and many different species of solitary bees and wasps, developed by Peter Hallett (Toronto; details on this site).

Above: Deluxe Log, back view with vibrational sensor, insertion hole, and plug

Above: Sarah listens. (Photos by Stephen Humphrey)

Bee Plank

Above: Bee Plank, back view with microphone, headphones and amplifier

Below: Bee Plank, front edge view

Photos by Sarah Peebles

Have a question, feedback or an idea you want to share? Comments are open here.

7 thoughts on “Deluxe Log, Bee Plank

  1. Hi There!

    I just learned of your site via Dr. Packer.
    Why is it important to include a microphone and vibration
    sensor in your pollination habitat/deluxe log?

    I am involved in public education about migratory songbird and pollinator conservation. I have added a native woodland garden to mly property as well as logs, brush pile and downspout pond. I suspect that the bees overwinter in these places as well as in the stems of the shrubs. I have a green roof which looks wonderful now in bloom and abuzz with pollinators. I hope to have a photographer take pictures soon to raise awareness.

    Please visit my website at http://www.projectchirp.com. I am looking to add photos to the green roof section later this month.

    I would be happy to add a pollination station/deluxe log/plank to my property so that during my spring and fall educational garden tours, others may learn how to help these insects. Would that be possible?

    All the best, Christina

  2. I am completely on board. I like you work very much. I would like to send you one of my images called Auto Pollinator. This year I seeded my front with clover for the bees. There was a pretty good turn out. I have been focusing much of my attention on plants. Perhaps the bees and the plants could collaborate in a future exhibit. Please notify me of your next exhibit.


  3. The vibrational sensor (transducer) acts as a microphone to connect the viewer with minute sounds of bees doing their thing: bringing pollen into their nest cavities and transferring it into a pollen ball, manipulating masicated leaves, mud or resin to seal nest cells, etc. – sounds too small to hear via a normal microphone but which transmit through wood nicely. In the case of solitary wasps, it’s packing in spiders and other species-specific prey as provisions on which they lay their egg, and, pack mud, grass, etc. to seal the cell.

    Sight and sound work together to extend our perception in a very specific way – one is quickly and effectively drawn into the insect’s world, mesmerized and soon begins to identify with the insect. Sort of like the movie Microcosmos, but in person, real-time and directly physical. Hearing while seeing also enhances one’s ability to perceive what one is seeing – these experieces become very informative as well as a wondrous and beautiful.

    We can make various sizes of audio bee booths or similar in a ‘deluxe log’ form for various types of venues as commissioned projects. I’d be happy to provide budget estimates and detailed information (sarah peebles at g mail dot com).

  4. Wow. This is incredible. I am founder of A.B.C- Apiaries and Bees for Communities in Calgary. I have been developing educational tools to teach people about honeybees and native bees. This interactive art project is fantastic! I would love to replicate something like this here in Calgary!

    Fantastic. How long are you going to show this? Are they permanent installations?


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