I'll start with a: I'm brand new here and b: I have little experience with bees.
I wish to make a bee house for wild solitary bees. The idea is for an open source project designed to be built on any type of 3D printer - although I believe FDM printing with PLA would be best as the material is natural and to a degree biodegradable - not in the common sense, it doesn't vanish if left in the garden.
I have some questions, I've done lots of research but much of what I read seems to disagree with what is commercially available or what I have seen. I'm interested in knowing:
- the diameter of the tubes the bees would prefer to live in? I was thinking a range between 4mm to 10mm.
- should that diameter vary through the tube? Or does it not matter (how do they turn around for example?)
- I read the bees do not like water, but do not mind cold. I was thinking of having the tubes angled slightly down to stop rain getting in in the first place.
- Do they need any form of ventilation to stop condensation build up other than the open front?
- Do they need to see and go straight to their hole? If there was one larger hole that hid many smaller tubes would they be happy to explore or is it that they really need to fly directly to their own hole?
I know that's a lot. Sorry Once I have the designs done I'll be sharing the files.