Short Mason Bee Update

Mason Bee  Osmia cornuta

The male Mason bees (Osmia cornuta) have not given up on checking out the Mason bee house.

Male Osmia cornuta

I’m not sure whether they are concerned that the females are playing hide and seek but they give the whole area a thorough check.

Male Mason bee, Osmia cornuta

If they think I am watching they play cool and pretend they are only resting on the box to give their antennae a groom.

Osmia cornuta on hyacinth

After a bit they give up and drop down for a bit of nectar from the hyacinths that are conveniently situated under the bee house.

Osmia cornuta on hyacinth

They may have to wait a long time because last year it was the beginning of April before The previous year’s bees hatched.

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30 thoughts on “Short Mason Bee Update

  1. Your mason bees seem to be Osmia cornuta, not O. rufa. O. cornuta is much more brightly coloured — very black and very foxy red. O. rufa is like a scruffy toned down or worn version of O. cornuta, less neatly velvety, paler hair on both abdomen and thorax.

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  2. It is fascinating that the males are around so long before the females. Do you think it is nature’s test; to ensure that only males that have been good a finding nectar to keep alive will be able to reproduce? Christina

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  3. Thanks for providing an answer to a mystery from yesterday – I was watching some black and ginger bees checking out an old, crumbly wall. They were darting around really quickly, sometimes entering a crack or hole but never lingering – it was hard enough to get a proper look at them, let alone capture a decent image. I’ll keep my eye on that wall to see if any have decided to move in.

    I can now add Mason Bees to the growing list of ‘bees that are in the garden, which I previously didn’t even know existed’. Thanks.

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    • You’ll have to check out which type of Mason bees you have, I got my species wrong first time. They are really pretty looking bees. Just to confuse you I had some red tailed bumble bees nesting in a hole in my house wall last year but I haven’t seen any red tailed bumble bees yet this year.
      Next you can see if you have some strange piles of earth on the ground like tiny molehills – you might have mining bees too!

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  4. Pingback: Mason bee hotels or houses | a french garden

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