Mason Bee Time!

I’ve been working from home due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order (though we’re exempted by virtue of providing parts for essential industries, but no, thanks!) and there’s a lot going on in spring, so I’m a bit behind, but…bees!

I came to get my laptop on the 20th so I could get my remote connection set up, and noticed some of the mason bees had started emerging from the little yellow house. It was pretty warm, and they were okay until they hit the cold concrete; then, they started getting sluggish. I had to leave and go back to work, so I didn’t take pictures (not worth posting, anyway, since it was grey and dismal and they’re small), but when I got home, I hunted them all down and relocated them to the patio flowerbed. These would have been the males because they emerge first.

On the 25th, the ladies started making their appearance. Warming up in the sun on the yellow house.

Warming up on my hand, which was a lot more fun for me. 🙂

So fuzzy!

Also adorable.

Lookit his little eyes! <3

Fuzz on a hyacinth.

I was concerned because when the bees started to emerge, there wasn’t much available; even by the 26th, the crabapple tree had not yet opened its blooms.

They knew better than I, though, because later that day, the blooms began to open.

By the 28th (though I actually took this today), the tree was in full bloom.

I had purchased fancy (expensive), purpose-built mason bee tubes. I was going to build an enclosure, but the bees were so much earlier than I expected, all I could do was grab the yellow-est thing I could find to hold them for now. My yellow paint arrived yesterday, though, so if I can find something to use, I’ll make them a proper house.

Me: Here you go, guys–actual mason bee tubes!

Bees: Nah, we’ll just be using the old house.

Sigh. I know there are tiny larvae of some sort in that house, and they aren’t mason bee larvae, but I need to leave the house nearby because they look for it; as if they know where they were “born”. I want them to use the cardboard tubes, and a couple did check them out, but I was tidying up the front yard yesterday and didn’t spend enough time sitting there to determine whether they were actually using the new tubes, or whether they were checking them out and subsequently ignoring them. We’ll see, I guess; it’s not up to me, it’s up to them!

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