2008-2009: Pink Bee-Wasp Condo was at the Franklin Children’s Garden as part of Resonating Bodies’ outreach and R&D. We learned much from its creator, citizen scientist/researcher Peter Hallett, a Toronto-based citizen scientist. Due to it’s shady location it was later moved.
Pink Condo, for solitary, cavity nesting bees and wasps, cross-references with Bumble Domicile (integrated media installation, 2008) and our Bee Trading Cards (2008 – 2009). The ‘condo’ houses many small observable nest blocks which host a diversity of solitaries. More than 10 species of solitary native bees and wasps can be viewed emerging, nest-building, visiting flowering plants and collecting materials at the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Nature Centre and surrounding parkland.
Toronto Region Conservation Authority, The Toronto Zoo and Wings of Paradise (Cambridge, ON) and others use similar installations for bee monitoring and education. Hallet’s design and others are posted at Bee Houses Around the World.
‘Pink Condo’ and other solitary bee ‘house’ designs inform Audio Bee Cabinets , sensory observation nest sites created by Sarah Peebles which allow observers to listen with headphones while watching nesting activities up close, in cross-section. These works highlight solitary nesting wild pollinators, their lifecycles, nesting materials, and their temporal relationships with flowering plants.
Pink Condo inhabitants (doc)
In this video independent researcher Dr. Peter Hallett shows and discusses the observation nest blocks with Sarah Peebles.
The observation nest blocks (and their inhabitants), are donated to FCG by Dr. Peter Hallett. Special events and ongoing educational activities will take place through the FCG programmes, among others.
Peter Hallett shows some wasps. Photo: Rob Cruickshank More photos from Rob at Flickr (see his tags “bees”, “resonating bodies” and related).
Some more nest blocks, photos courtesy of Dr Peter Hallet (click to enlarge), below. Many of these nests have been created with cuttings of leaves carefully constructed by leafcutter bees (Megachile), other nests were constructed by other species of solitary bees using resins (from plants chewed), mud and other materials. Some pupae are visible. When they reach maturity, they will chew their way out. Some have emerged and others may have been parasitised. If you look carefully, you can see that in some bores there are more than one species of bee and/or wasp.
Solitary bee nesting strategies and life cycles
Below, an illustration of the nesting strategies and life cycles of various kinds of solitary bees.
Photo of Dr Peter Hallet with a collection of bees and wasps: Ron Bull Toronto Star