Friday, 4 April 2008

Mason Bees

As you can see from the photograph taken today the tubes are still sealed. The bees are not ready to come out yet. It is quite a lengthy performance for them to get out. There are approx 5 - 10 bees to a tube. Each grub has its own space filled with pollen and sealed with mud. When the bee at the back wakes up it will chew through the mud and bite the bottom of the bee in front to wake it up. I jest not. This works right the way through the tube until the one at the front wakes up, chews thru the mud and every bee in that tube is free. Its a little bit like an escape from prison!
I am a little worried for these bees and it has been lovely and warm, so there will be stirrings in the tubes. We are expecting an extreme drop in temperature here and possible snow at the weekend. I will cover them if necessary, I have never had to do this before, so havn't decided what with yet. Hopefully they will all be okay. As soon as they come out I will try to photograph them.
Have a great weekend.


Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Thank you for showing and telling about the Mason Bees. My husband and I are going to get a bee box and begin having Mason Bees. I am very excited about this. I always wanted to be a bee keeper but being on the city I thought I could not. I learned I can keep Mason Bees!
I shall follow your lead on this.
Looking forward to more posts about the bees.
Thank you!

Rose said...

How interesting--I am learning so many new things! Pardon my ignorance, but do you keep the mason bees for pollination or for some other purpose? I do hope the temperature doesn't drop there too much.

Cheryl said...

Hi Sherry....Glad you are finding the posts useful. Any problems please ask, I have been keeping them for six years now. That does not make me an expert but I know enough.

Hi Rose....They are kept here mainly for pollenation of fruit trees and they love strawberry flowers. I grow wild strawberries and they have made these very successful. My little grandchildren love because they are small, sweet and full of flavour.
The mason bee only lives for 6 - 8 weeks. Sigh.

beckie said...

Cheryl, Hopefully, th first bee will think it's too cold and won't wake up the others! Hopr your weekend is good anyway.

Cheryl said...

Well it will certainly be too cold for me Beckie. I have got used to this mild spell.

Mark said...

Hi Cheryl,
I'm looking forward to seeing them pop out,I didn't know that their was up to 5 in a tube, heres hoping some will use the tubes I have put up for them this year.

Cheers Mark

Cheryl said...

I am sure they will use your teasel tubes Mark. Mason bees like clean units. When they use holes in houses they have to clean the area first. So this creates a lot of work for the bee. Your units is nice and clean and I am sure will be full by the end of the summer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl,
I have thought about having Mason Bees in my garden as you do.
Where can i find information about ordering them, can you help me?

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for leaving me a note on my blog . . . I'll order those bees now. That's cute how you said, "Those bees are waiting to come and find me"!!!!
~ Becky