Friday, 24 April 2015

To bee or not to bee ............

 I have kept mason bees for ten years.    I started with one unit and now have eight.    Mason bees are passive, so ideal if children or pets frequent the garden.
 The bees start to leave the unit at this time of year.    The males first, they stay in close proximity waiting for the females.
 After the female has been served the male will spend the rest of his days, sunning himself on foliage and feeding amongst the flowers and blossom.    The female will spend her whole life laying grubs in the units, filling them with pollen, and sealing each with damp soil.      At the end of her life she is tattered and worn, and more often than not  senile.
If there is such a thing as re-incarnation I do not want to come back as a female mason bee :)

Have a lovely weekend............BEE HAPPY :)

13 comments:

  1. Men! Don't they have an easy life? I put up a mason bee house a couple of years ago but I haven't had one bee in it. Perhaps it's facing the wrong way like my bird house was. I put a new bird house up in a different position and I got residents almost immediately. I wonder if the same would happen with the bee house if I were to move it.

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  2. Men indeed Jo !!

    A south facing sheltered area is best I believe. I have noticed over the years that if the unit is in a shady or part shady area it is does not do well. The units in my garden that are always full are facing south..........

    If it did need to be moved, now would be idea,l as in a few weeks mason bees will be looking for homes for their grubs.

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  3. Gosh I have one tiny bee house. I probably should make more and put them around the garden. I like my one up by the house. I can watch it. I see that the female has been going into ours too. I should sit out there and try for a picture. Have a great weekend...

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    1. I have added a unit each year Lisa.
      They seem to fill very quickly here, which is great :)

      Good luck with getting an image, took me ages ....but got there in the end.

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  4. Well I Say Well Done for keeping bees ...

    Such an important part of the natural world ... us women 'of all types' are good workers.

    Have a good weekend - hope the weather stays fine for you.

    All the best Jan

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  5. Well I Say Well Done for keeping bees ...

    Such an important part of the natural world ... us women 'of all types' are good workers.

    Have a good weekend - hope the weather stays fine for you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. We are indeed, we all play our part Jan...........

      Raining today....much needed here, garden is very dry:)

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  6. Hi Cheryl
    What great pics of the bees zooming into their bee house. I have one of these units which we put up last year - so far no takers - hopefully they will realise their mistake and take advantage this year - fingers crossed.
    Elaine

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    1. It is strange Elaine, I have heard so many people say they no takers for the units they have put up. The first year I put one in the garden it was half full by the end of summer.
      I think positioning is vital but I am sure you must know that :)

      It is raining today, light rain.....perfect for the garden.

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  7. Hi Cheryl,

    How lovely! Only last year did any bees use my bee hotel... And only two cells were filled. They still seem to prefer to use the holes in the back wall of the house and in the wall in the garden. I've noticed one hole in the house is already open, but those in the 'hotel' are still closed.
    I love the mason bees and have seen a few of the tawny fluffy ones and some of the tiny little blue masons which like to guard the forget-me-not, scaring larger bees and hover flies away.

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    1. I have an assortment of solitary bees in the units, some are the rarer megachild species.
      They are pretty little bees.
      So useful, as well, they pollinate all the fruit trees in the garden :)

      I have a bed of forget me not by the units and they do love the flowers......

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  8. I don't think I'd want to be a female mason bee either:) Bee hotels are very popular on Pinterest these days, either ones you can purchase or make yourself. I've been thinking about adding one, though I suspect we have enough brush and and old lumber lying around, they might have built their own condominium.

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  9. How wonderful to see, lovely set of photo's. I too have one of these on our shed wall and a bug hotel at the side of it, at the moment full of spiders webs, which the Blue tits like to visit..
    Amanda xx

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