This afternoon I saw more than Mason bee circling around the Mason bee house. The nests have hatched – I thought, and rushed to check which ones had opened.
I was quite surprised to see them intact and at first puzzled.
However, I could see the little white heads so I knew that they were males.
The photographs are poor as the box is in the shade in poor light. However, I could plainly see their white tufts. They not only landed on the nest but they explored inside the tubes.
I was pleased to see these males arrive as I had always assumed the hatching females were to mate with their brothers who hatched earlier. It seemed to go against the principle of shuffling the gene pool in sexual reproduction. Apparently the males can be more promiscuous and will travel in search of females rather than waiting where they have hatched.
I still have to wait to see if my nests will hatch.