High Density Housing, Revisited
All this warm weather has my pollinators buzzing. Seething masses of bumblebees have been blanketing the ground-level plants and the blueberries. The red chokeberry is also covered in many different flies and bees. But the most exciting development has been masonry. Of the bee variety.
I had placed one of the mason bee houses I had built on a small bench facing southeast. This weekend we noticed a bee crawling into one of the holes. Upon closer inspection, it was apparent that we had been missing a whole lotta action. The mason bee gets her name from her method of protecting her eggs. She finds holes the appropriate size (5/16" to 3/8"), usually in dead wood or reeds, packs a wad of pollen into the hole, lays her egg on the wad of pollen [breakfast of champions!]--and then proceeds to wall off the egg with mud--"masonry." She'll then repeat the process until there is no room left in the hole/channel/tube.
As you can see from the picture, Someone has been Hard At Work. I was especially pleased to see that our bees were apparently not disturbed by the lack of charring on the front of the apartment complex. (See the comments on the original post for insight to that remark!) Decided to go ahead and add my last bee block to keep the other one company on the bench. Just in case our momma bee has sisters.