This is my contribution to the Hope3D contest and touches upon the environmental theme. Variety of the insect population has been an issue lately, especially the solitary bee population has been decreasing at a worrying rate. Besides populating your garden with a lot of flowers, creating solitary bee hives will enrich your environment. This project involves the design of a bee hotel and has been a development for more than over one year.
I have created different versions of the bee hotel. One version with the large holes (8 mm) will attract among others mason bees. I.e. the one the front image. I also created a version with a mixture of different sized holes which will be used by a variety of solitary bees. As can be seen in the pictures I had to protect the hotels with wire netting, as it became a nice dinner for birds ;(
There are both versions for single extruder and a two color version for a dual extruder setup. I used Colorfabb WoodFill and Corkfill to print the bee hotels as this will absorb more moisture (avoid condensation and fungus moulds). The black/yellow versions have been printed with PLA.
- Use 0.8 mm nozzle when printing woodfill and cork fill, as this will lower the change of clogged nozzles by the wood fibers)
- Print speed: 60 mm/s
- Print temperature: 210 dC for Woodfill, 220 for Corkfill
- Bed temperature: 60 dC.
- Clean out the holes with a drill, make sure no protrusions are left as the bees will not use them to avoid damage to their wings.
- Clean out the holes each year (i.e. after the season clean the unused ones).
I also defined a small version which can be used as a promotion key ring, just for fun. All designs are made in Fusion 360.
I Hope(3D) my design will contribute to a rich natural environment and sparks joy and awareness of our habitat. I know it did for me.
update 17 March 2019: season started! uploaded three new pictures of recently hatches bees and activity. New customers checking in at the hotel ;)