Friday, June 3, 2011

My New Adventures with Old Mason Bees

One lone mason bee getting to work
I have had the funnest time with these mason bees.  Actually, I should say mason BEE, because I have only had the pleasure of having one gal move into the condo for them on my porch.

As you may recall from an earlier blog, I had set up this house for mason bees back in April, and had put out the 'egg tube' and saw several bees hatch out of this tube the next day or two.  After the wind took them off to regions far flung, I never saw them again.   I contacted the fellow I got them from, who said just wait and they will come back. 

And,  along came one little girl back, who in the past week or two has worked her little hind end off to fill up 3 of these little tubes full of eggs for next year, all the while, I am assuming, pollinating things about the yard?  I don't know, but it was fascinating watching this one bee go in and out all day long, filling these tubes with pollen and mud and eggs.

She is no longer with us.  Mason bees live only about 6 weeks and then all die, and since I put out her original tube and she hatched in early April, and it is now June 1, I can safely surmise that she has passed on to glory.  But she did leave behind a legacy of eggs that I will carefully tend to, let hibernate this winter, and then bring back out next April, and let hatch in their mother's condo. I did have fun watching her up close, taking pictures of her, and at one point, she actually landed on my arm and walked around a bit while I was demonstrating the mason bee house to some customers--what an advertisement!

A queen of her own castle

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