An intriguing case of mortar bee attack is evident at the former Public Works Office, Bendigo, now part of the Queen Elizabeth Oval Cottage. 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, typically favouring walls that receive a lot of sunlight. Over time, this activity can lead to structural damage.

 

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.

 

DATE
20 March 2018
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