Sunday, 16 March 2008

MASON BEES.


A few of you have asked me to tell you about my bees. I will take you through the process as I deal with them but the following may interest those who are thinking of helping these lovely bees.
1. They do not sting, they are a passive bee.
2. You can buy units made of oak etc that can be leftout during the winter. If you buy the middle unit from The Oxford Bee Company, they must be kept in a cool shed during the autumn and winter months. The unit on the right was made by a friend using offcuts of wood and bamboo sticks.
3. The units when they go out in March must ALWAYS be put in a south facing sheltered position, this is important for the survival of the bees.
4. Mason bees only live for six weeks (approx). The male mates with the female and then spends the rest of his life basically having fun. Flying from flower to flower and resting in the sun. The female on the other hand spends her life laying her grubs in the tubes, she puts a supply of food for each bee and then seals the tube with mud. She is so exhausted at the end of her time that she becomes senile, and dies. A bit of a sad story and one to think about.
I will leave it at that for now, and continue when the bees go out.
If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will answer it there.
Hope its helpful.

9 comments:

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday Mum! Have a wonderful day and enjoy your lunch.
Big hugs,
Love you millions,
Mich, Riley and Poppi
xxxx

Cheryl said...

Thank you lovely, you all made my day singing Happy Birthday down the phone.
Love you all. xxxx

Terrie B x said...

"Happy Birthday" to you "Happy Birthday" to you.."Happy Birthday" dear Cheryl "Happy Birthday" to you...have a wonderful Day...whatever you do:)xxx

Cheryl said...

Tku Terrie very much indeed. xxx

Dawny P said...

I really enjoyed your post about the Mason Bees Cheryl - very interesting, I am going to find out more about them now cos to be honest, I'm ashamed to say that I have never heard of them before xx

beckie said...

Happy Birthday Cheryl. I would not have known except for the other comments. I think the rabbits are cute too. Lisa says I have never had anything eaten and that is true. I suppose if they become a nuisance...The bees are fascinating. Can't wait to learn more.

Libbys Blog said...

OH Belated happy birthday from me too!!
How do you know you have Red Mason Bees?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A belated Happy Birthday Cheryl! I hope you had a good day.

The mason bee houses are interesting. The one with the slots looks like the top part is a butterfly house. They used to be popular but then people realized that everything but butterflies get into them. I made one years ago. It is falling apart. I guess I could make a bee house. As I mentioned before the Mason Bees are drilling into the end of our shed. I will take some pictures to show you when they get busy this summer.

It is odd that they drill into the shaded west side of the shed. Right above where I placed the potting bench.

I might try one of these houses if I can find one. I have never seen one for sale.

Cheryl said...

Tku all for the birthday wishes.

Hi Libby

I know I have red mason bees because I saw them working the tubes last year.

Hi Lisa

Are you sure you have mason bees? There are hundreds of small bees....You could have leaf cutter bees or some other species. Perhaps if you could get a photo we could identify which you have. I am suprised you have any bee in a west facing position but that just goes to show you books and experts aren't always right, and nature often does its own thing, just to confuse us!!! I am interested though bees fascinate me so I will look on your blog to keep up to date with yours.

Hi Beckie.....Lisa has just contradicted you, the rabbits ate her purple crocus!!!! lol
Glad you found the bee post interesting. Lisa and I have a sort of bee thing going.