Saturday, 27 April 2013

Red Mason Bees Osmia bicornis.

A full month later than their emergence last year but my Red Mason Bees are active. Only the males so far, the first emerging last saturday 20th April.  So far I haven't seen any females.  I'm also not sure how much food the males need. Their might be a bit of a problem in my garden as their are not that many flowers in it at present due to the cold March.  Still good to have them back, just needa good May to allow them to refill their nest holes.  The bee log that I mentioned and illustrated in an earlier article has now been on my wall for 3 years and is has full residency.  This means that the bees fight for available holes.  The less successful having to wander off and find pastures new.  

I also like the fact that the Bees re-use the available holes. This encourages parasites, in particular certain wasps to hang around in decent numbers adding to the interest. I'll let you know when the females are on the wing.  I attach a photograph of a rather cool male I picked up below the bee log and placed on the windowsill.  It only took a couple of minutes to warm up before it was buzzing once more around the holes. 

1st time out.  Osmia bicornis male emerging.  I watched this chap break through his clay seal. 27.04.2013

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