I placed the little bee chalet on one of our sunniest house walls three weeks ago hoping for some visitors. Today I was delighted to discover this:-
We have 25% occupancy already
All of these tunnels now contain lots of eggs laid by a female solitary bee and then sealed in by her. The sealing material is fibrous - chewed up assorted vegetation and mud.
Apparently female eggs are laid at the far end of the tunnel along with some pollen for the bee larvae to eat when it hatches, and then sealed in before laying the next egg. The male eggs are laid at the entrance to the tunnel so that they emerge first in the spring. I have also discovered that I need to place the chalet somewhere dry during the autumn where they will be safe from rainy weather and not succumb to parasites or fungi. The young bees will stay dormant in the tunnels during the winter then leave in the spring.
Until I did a bit of research I did not realise that it was going to take a whole year for the cycle to be completed.
Next April the chalet tunnels will have to be cleaned out with a stiff brush ready for the process to begin again.