Friday, 4 September 2015

Mason bee, pollen bee or solitary bee nest box

I bought this at Lee Valley on July 30th. It's a great idea to house solitary bees. Bees are at-risk from predators and parasites, cuckoo bees, as well as chemicals, e.g., insecticides like Neonicotinoids.

This is a nest for mason bees or leaf-cutter bees, gentle, solitary, non-aggressive bees who stick close to home. They estimate about 3500 species in North America and account for 80% of flora fertilization.

For images:

Osmia lignaria lignaria

Mason bees

About Pollen Bees
  • Pollen bees only live 6 - 8 weeks They spend their lives collecting pollen and nectar for their eggs in the chosen nest
  • They lay eggs until the nest is full
  • They lay  6 - 8 eggs
  •  fertilized female eggs in the rear, 2 - 3 unfertilized males eggs in the front
  • The eggs hatch in several week, after which the larvae consumes the pollen and nectar
  • They metamorphose into an adult bee, emerging the following year
  • the female in the rear wakes first, males mate with females and die
  • The process takes about 12 months
  • Bumble Bees are at risk from predators,
    like goldenrod spiders!
  • Pollen bees can create nests in burrows, or in plant stems, or holes in trees

honey bee

They provide two nails, which doesn't fit into the 'holes!'

A bit wobbly on a round stump!
It's a great product, although it is simple to make them yourself. There are lots of means and ways (see below).

At first, I tried to attach it to a tree stump, but it didn't seem to be that well-placed. It jiggled on the rounded surface! On the wall works well. I happened to be in front of it when a mason wasp visited. Not what I wanted, but what can one do?! With the decrease in bee species world-wide, I'll take any comer!

They suggest putting the stickers on the outside once the hole is full. This is to prevent predators and moisture from entering.
There is an info sheet, with a tracking system for
dating the egg placement!

My beekeeper friend tells me this is a Mason Wasp. I guess they will find themselves a home here, too! It shows them going in and out, however!

Mason Bee House from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Lots of choices for do it yourself!:


Out To Pasture said...

Such fun to watch the very industrious lives of all these little creatures!

DUTA said...

Very informative post both on bees and on the nest box!
I'm usually a victim of bees; now and then they like to leave their sting in my arm. However, I could never dislike them because of the honey they produce, and the clever way they produce it.

DeniseinVA said...

Fascinating to see the wasp at work. Interesting post and photos. I have seen these bee houses in several places and aim to buy one myself soon.

Nancy J said...

I have found mason bee nests in the curtain folds, up where the light fittings are, are move them outside. Great idea, you are definitely an animal and insect lover of the " Black Belt" standard. Is it getting colder? We have rain, 4 Celsius this morning, fire still going. Plans to have LOTS more trees cut for next year's firewood!!!

William Kendall said...

Bees of any kind need all the help we can give them.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh that looks such a great and simple idea! I was amazed at the number of honey bees and bumble bees in dad's garden when I was over in Edinburgh - more than last year, from memory so something is going right round there are least. There has been a big drive in the UK to get folk to plant bee-attracting plants and lots of peeps are doing that. YAM xx

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it is great to help out the bees. The video and photos are great. Enjoy your weekend!

EG CameraGirl said...

Kudos to you for providing this home for bees. I have seen quite a few bees this year and that pleases me a LOT!

Christine said...

Interesting product!

Powell River Books said...

I found mason bees nesting in the base for the tiny panel for our solar Christmas lights on the front porch. I started remaking an old birdhouse into a bee hotel, but never got it done. I'll try again next season, or just buy one like you did. - Margy